EnglishEdit

Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

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.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

debt (plural debts)

  1. An action, state of mind, or object one has an obligation to perform for another, adopt toward another, or give to another.
    • 1589, William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I, act 1, sc. 3,
      Revenge the jeering and disdain'd contempt
      Of this proud king, who studies day and night
      To answer all the debt he owes to you
      Even with the bloody payment of your deaths.
    • 1850, Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter, ch. 14,
      This long debt of confidence, due from me to him, whose bane and ruin I have been, shall at length be paid.
  2. The state or condition of owing something to another.
    I am in your debt.
  3. 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.
    • 1919, Upton Sinclair, Jimmie Higgins, ch. 15,
      Bolsheviki had repudiated the four-billion-dollar debt which the government of the Tsar had contracted with the bankers.
    • 2013 June 22, “Engineers of a different kind”, The Economist, volume 407, number 8841, page 70: 
      Private-equity nabobs bristle at being dubbed mere financiers. Piling debt onto companies’ balance-sheets is only a small part of what leveraged buy-outs are about, they insist. Improving the workings of the businesses they take over is just as core to their calling, if not more so. Much of their pleading is public-relations bluster.
  4. (law) An action at law to recover a certain specified sum of money alleged to be due.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Burrill to this entry?)

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

External linksEdit

Last modified on 12 April 2014, at 20:13