An example of a duty is the act of students completing homework assignments.
- the obedience or respect that one should show toward one's parents, older people, etc.
- conduct based on moral or legal obligation, or a sense of propriety: one's duty to vote
- any action, task, etc. required by or relating to one's occupation or position: the duties of a secretary
- a sense or feeling of obligation: duty calls
- service, esp. military service: overseas duty
- a payment due to the government, esp. a tax imposed on imports, exports, or manufactured goods
- Brit. the performance of a machine as measured by the output of work per unit of fuel
- the amount of work that a machine is meant to do; rated efficiency under specified conditions
- Agric. the amount of water needed for irrigation per acre per cropalso duty of water
- an assigned period of responsibility, as a watch or sentry duty: often used attributively: a duty sergeant
Origin of dutyMiddle English duete from Anglo-French dueté, what is due (owing): see due and -ty
do duty for
on (or off) duty
- a. An act or a course of action that is required of one by position, social custom, law, or religion: the duties of being a critical care nurse.b. Required action or service: jury duty; beyond the call of duty. See Synonyms at function.c. Active military service: a tour of duty.
- a. Moral or legal obligation: It is your duty to tell the truth.b. The compulsion felt to meet such obligation: acting out of duty.
- A tax charged by a government, especially on imports.
- a. The application of something for a purpose; use: The dining room table also does duty as a desk.b. A measure of efficiency expressed as the amount of work done per unit of energy used.
- The total volume of water required to irrigate a given area in order to cultivate a specific crop until harvest.
Origin of dutyMiddle English duete from Anglo-Norman from due variant of Old French deu due ; see due .
- Adjectives often used with "duty": public, private, moral, legal, social, double, civic, contractual, political, judicial, etc.
duty - Investment & Finance Definition
A tax or payment imposed by a government on the goods that a company imports or exports. Goods that do not require the payment of a duty are called duty free.
duty - Legal Definition