- An example of debt is what you owe on your mortgage and car loan.
- An example of debt is a feeling of gratitude when someone helps you to go to college.
- something owed by one person to another or others
- an obligation or liability to pay or return something
- the condition of owing: to be in debt a thousand dollars
- Theol. a sin
Origin of debtaltered (after L) from Middle English and Old French dette from Classical Latin debitum, neuter past participle of debere, to owe from de-, from + habere, to have: see habit
be in someone's debt
- Something owed, such as money, goods, or services: used the proceeds to pay off her debts; a debt of gratitude.
- An obligation or liability to pay or render something to someone else: students burdened with debt.
- The condition of owing: a young family always in debt.
- Financial instruments, such as bonds, mortgages, and loans, that represent a claim to payment and rights of creditorship: invested in government debt; a company issuing debt.
- A moral or legal obligation to make reparations or undergo punishment for committing an offense: a criminal repaying his debt to society.
Origin of debtMiddle English dette from Old French from Vulgar Latin dēbita pl. of Latin dēbitum debt neuter past participle of dēbēre to owe ; see ghabh- in Indo-European roots.
- An action, state of mind, or object one has an obligation to perform for another, adopt toward another, or give to another.
- The state or condition of owing something to another.
- I am in your debt.
- Money that one person or entity owes or is required to pay to another, generally as a result of a loan or other financial transaction.
- (law) An action at law to recover a certain specified sum of money alleged to be due.
From Middle English dett, from Old French dete (French: dette), from Medieval Latin dēbita, from Latin dēbitum (“what is owed, a debt, a duty”), neuter of dēbitus, perfect passive participle of dēbeō (“I owe”), contraction of *dehibeō (“I have from”), from de (“from”) + habeō (“I have”).
The unpronounced "b" in the modern English spelling is a Latinisation from the Latin etymon dēbitum.
debt - Investment & Finance Definition
An obligation that a person or organization has to another person or organization. Debt may be in the form of a bond, note, mortgage, line of credit, or other financial instrument. Debt may be secured by assets, which means that the assets will be seized in the event of default, or be unsecured.
debt - Legal Definition