Last modified on 13 December 2014, at 03:13

duty

See also: dutý

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

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).

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

duty (plural duties)

  1. That which one is morally or legally obligated to do.
    We don't have a duty to keep you here.
    • 1805, 21 October, Horatio Nelson
      England expects that every man will do his duty.
    • 1915, Emerson Hough, The Purchase Price, Ch.I:
      Captain Edward Carlisle [] felt a curious sensation of helplessness seize upon him as he met her steady gaze, []; he could not tell what this prisoner might do. He cursed the fate which had assigned such a duty, cursed especially that fate which forced a gallant soldier to meet so superb a woman as this under handicap so hard.
    • 1959, Georgette Heyer, chapter 1, The Unknown Ajax:
      Charles had not been employed above six months at Darracott Place, but he was not such a whopstraw as to make the least noise in the performance of his duties when his lordship was out of humour.
    • 2013 August 10, Lexington, “Keeping the mighty honest”, The Economist, volume 408, number 8848: 
      British journalists shun complete respectability, feeling a duty to be ready to savage the mighty, or rummage through their bins. Elsewhere in Europe, government contracts and subsidies ensure that press barons will only defy the mighty so far.
  2. A period of time spent at work or doing a particular task.
    I’m on duty from 6 pm to 6 am.
  3. Describing a workload as to its idle, working and de-energized periods.
  4. A tax placed on imports or exports; a tariff.
  5. (obsolete) One's due, something one is owed; a debt or fee.
  6. (obsolete) Respect; reverence; regard; act of respect; homage.
  7. The efficiency of an engine, especially a steam pumping engine, as measured by work done by a certain quantity of fuel; usually, the number of pounds of water lifted one foot by one bushel of coal (94 lbs. old standard), or by 1 cwt. (112 lbs., England, or 100 lbs., United States).

Usage notesEdit

  • Adjectives often used with "duty": public, private, moral, legal, social, double, civic, contractual, political, judicial, etc.

SynonymsEdit

AntonymsEdit

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

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StatisticsEdit

External linksEdit


Lower SorbianEdit

PronunciationEdit

ParticipleEdit

duty

  1. past passive participle of duś

DeclensionEdit