EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English devoir, borrowed from Middle French devoir, from Old French deveir, from Latin dēbēre (to owe; ought, must).

PronunciationEdit

  • IPA(key): /dəˈvwɑː/
    • (file)
  • Hyphenation: de‧voir

NounEdit

devoir (plural devoirs)

  1. (archaic, often in plural) Duty, business; something that one must do.

AnagramsEdit


FrenchEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle French debvoir, from Old French deveir, from Latin dēbēre, present active infinitive of dēbeō (to owe; ought, must), derived from dē- + habeō (to have) (and thus equivalent to de- + avoir).

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

devoir m (plural devoirs)

  1. duty
    Il est de mon devoir de protéger le roi.It is my duty to protect the king.
    manquer à son devoir, manquer à tous ses devoirsto fail in one's duty, duties
  2. exercise, assignment (set for homework)

Derived termsEdit

VerbEdit

devoir

  1. must, to have to, should (as a requirement)
    • 2014, Jean-Claude Bernardon, Résolution de conflits
      Votre langage doit vous permettre de maintenir une bonne distance de sécurité, être un peu plus poli et détaché que nécessaire est un avantage.
      Your language should permit you to keep a fairly secure distance, [as] being slightly more formal and detached than necessary is an advantage.
    Les auteurs d'un dictionnaire doivent déterminer au départ les catégories de mots à retenir, en fonction des limites imposées par l'éditeur et du public visé.
    The authors of a dictionary have to determine from the outset which categories of words to retain, as a function of the limits imposed by the editor, and the target audience.
  2. must, to do or have with certainty
  3. (transitive) to owe (money, obligation and etc)
  4. (literary, intransitive, in imperfect subjunctive, with inversion of subject) (even) though it be necessary (+ infinitive)
    • 1842, George Sand, Consuelo:
      Eh bien, se dit-elle, j'irai, dussé-je affronter les dangers réels [...]. ⇒ Well, she said to herself, I'll go, even if I have to face real danger.
  5. (reflexive, ~ de) to have a duty to
    • 1791, Louis XVI, “Message du roi, à l'Assemblée nationale, le 13 septembre 1791 [Message of the King to the National Assembly on 13 September 1791]”, in Constitution française, présentée au roi par l'Assemblée nationale, le 3 septembre 1791 [French constitution, presented to the King by the National Assembly on 3 September 1791], Dijon: Imprimerie de P. Causse, page 75:
      Aujourd'hui je dois aux intérêts de la nation, je me dois à moi-même de faire connoître mes motifs.
      Today, I owe to the interests of the nation, [so] I owe it to myself to make my motives known.

Usage notesEdit

  • The circumflex accent applied to the u in the past participle serves only to distinguish it from the prepositive du (of the). As such, the circumflex is omitted in the participle's other inflections: due f sg, dus m pl, dues f pl. The diacritic is likewise omitted in the derived adjective indu (undue, unwarranted) and its inflected forms, but retained in the adverbial derivative dûment and indûment, where it serves as an etymological marker signaling the elision of the letter e from the older spelling duement. These latter, however, may be rendered dument and indument according to the orthographic reforms advanced by the Conseil supérieur de la langue française and approved by the Académie française in 1990.
  • In negative constructions (e.g. ne pas devoir and ne plus devoir), the sense becomes "must not," "should not", etc.
    Je dois y aller.I must go. / I have to go.
    Je ne dois pas y aller.I must not go.
    Ne devriez-vous pas vous en aller ?(please add an English translation of this usage example)
    Ça ne devrait plus vous poser de problèmes.
    (please add an English translation of this usage example)

ConjugationEdit

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit


Middle EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

Borrowed from Middle French devoir, from Old French deveir, from Latin dēbēre (to owe, to be duty bound to do something).

NounEdit

devoir (plural devoirs)

  1. devoir
    • 1479, William Caxton, De Consolatione Philosophiæ, translated into English by Geoffrey Chaucer:
      I William Caxton have done my devoir to enprint it

Old FrenchEdit

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

From earlier deveir, from Latin dēbēre, present active infinitive of dēbeō.

VerbEdit

devoir

  1. (modal) to have to; must
  2. to owe

ConjugationEdit

This verb conjugates as a third-group verb. This verb has a stressed present stem doiv distinct from the unstressed stem dev, as well as other irregularities. Old French conjugation varies significantly by date and by region. The following conjugation should be treated as a guide.

  • The trema on the u of the past participle deü is not used by all authors.
  • The feminine forms of the past participle are more commonly spelled due and dues, though deue and deues are attested.

NounEdit

devoir m (oblique plural devoirs, nominative singular devoirs, nominative plural devoir)

  1. debt

DescendantsEdit

  • Middle English: devoir, dewe, dew, due (from past participle deu, deü)
  • Middle French: debvoir

ReferencesEdit

  • Godefroy, Frédéric, Dictionnaire de l'ancienne langue française et de tous ses dialectes du IXe au XVe siècle (1881) (devoir)
  • “Appendix E: Irregular Verbs” in E. Einhorn (1974), Old French: A Concise Handbook, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, →ISBN, pages 152–153