Duty meaning

do͝otē, dyo͝o-
Frequency:
The definition of a duty is something that is required by one's religion, job, position or the laws.

An example of a duty is the act of students completing homework assignments.

noun
39
4
A duty that one must perform personally, and that may not be delegated to another.
12
1
The obedience or respect that one should show toward one's parents, older people, etc.
noun
8
3
A tax charged by a government, especially on imports.
noun
7
2
The amount of work that a machine is meant to do; rated efficiency under specified conditions.
noun
6
3
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Service, esp. military service.

Overseas duty.

noun
3
2
Conduct based on moral or legal obligation, or a sense of propriety.

One's duty to vote.

noun
2
2
Any action, task, etc. required by or relating to one's occupation or position.

The duties of a secretary.

noun
2
2
(brit.) The performance of a machine as measured by the output of work per unit of fuel.
noun
1
2
(agric.) The amount of water needed for irrigation per acre per crop.
noun
1
2
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(mil., etc.) An assigned period of responsibility, as a watch or sentry duty.

A duty sergeant.

noun
1
2
A sense or feeling of obligation.

Duty calls.

noun
1
3
A tax placed on imports or exports; a tariff.
noun
0
1
The total volume of water required to irrigate a given area in order to cultivate a specific crop until harvest.
noun
0
2
A payment due to the government, esp. a tax imposed on imports, exports, or manufactured goods.
noun
0
2
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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.
0
2
A legally-defined responsibility to perform certain acts or meet certain standards of performance; an essential element of proof in a tort action is that the defendant had a duty to act in a certain manner, such as the duty to use due care in the operation of a motor vehicle. Duties may be mandated by law, such as the duty to pay taxes, or may be voluntary, such as those assumed under a contract.
noun
0
2
A duty that may be transferred to another.
0
2
That which one is morally or legally obligated to do.

We don't have a duty to keep you here.

noun
0
2
A period of time spent at work or doing a particular task.

I’m on duty from 6 pm to 6 am.

noun
0
2
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Describing a workload as to its idle, working and de-energized periods.
noun
0
2
duty bound
  • Obliged:
    You are duty bound to help your little sister and brother.
idiom
1
1
off duty
  • Not engaged in or responsible for assigned work.
idiom
0
1
on duty
  • Engaged in or responsible for assigned work.
idiom
0
1
do duty for
  • to substitute for; serve as
idiom
0
1
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on (or off) duty
  • officially engaged (or not officially engaged) in one's duties
idiom
0
1

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

do duty for
on (<i>or</i> off) duty

Origin of duty

  • Middle English duete from Anglo-Norman from due variant of Old French deu due due

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English duete, from Old French deu (“due”), past participle of devoir (“to owe”), from Latin debere (“to owe”), from de (“from”) + habere (“to have”).

    From Wiktionary