- An example to owe is to have a balance to pay on a credit card bill.
- An example of to owe is wanting to send a thank you card to someone for a nice gift they gave you.
Owe is defined as to have a debt to pay or to feel the need to do something.
- to have an obligation to pay; be indebted to the amount of
- to have or feel the need to do, give, etc., as because of gratitude
- to have or cherish (a certain feeling) toward another: now only in owe a grudge
- to be indebted to someone for the existence of
- Obs. to own; have
Origin of oweMiddle English owen ; from Old English agan, to own, possess, have, akin to Gothic aigan, Old High German eigan ; from Indo-European base an unverified form ?ik-, to have as one's own, be capable (of) from source Sanskrit an unverified form ???, (he) possesses
to be in debt
owe it to oneself
to be right in doing something, because it is to one's advantage
verbowed owed, ow·ing, owes
- To be indebted to the amount of: He owes me five dollars.
- To have a moral or legal obligation to render or offer: I owe them an apology.
- To be in debt to: We owe the plumber for services rendered.
- To be indebted or obliged for: owed their riches to oil; owes her good health to diet and exercise.
- To bear (a certain feeling) toward a person or persons: You seem to owe your neighbors a grudge.
- Archaic To have as a possession; own.
To be in debt: She still owes for the car.
Origin of oweMiddle English owen, from Old English āgan, to possess; see aik- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present owes, present participle owing, simple past and past participle owed)
- To be under an obligation to give something back to someone or to perform some action for someone.
- To have debt, to be in debt.