See also: Duty and dutý

English edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English duete, from Middle English dewe) + Middle English -te, (borrowed from Old French -te from Latin -tātem, accusative masculine singular of -tās). Equivalent to due + -ty (Alternative form of -ity).

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

duty (countable and uncountable, 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.
    • 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter I, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
      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, in 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”, in 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. The state of being at work and responsible for or doing a particular task.
    I’m on duty from 6 pm to 6 am.
  3. A tax placed on imports or exports; a tariff.
    customs duty; excise duty
  4. (obsolete) One's due, something one is owed; a debt or fee.
  5. (obsolete) Respect; reverence; regard; act of respect; homage.
  6. 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).

Synonyms edit

Antonyms edit

  • duty-free (taxes)
  • (antonym(s) of that which one is obligated to do): right

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Collocations edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Further reading edit

Lower Sorbian edit

Pronunciation edit

Participle edit


  1. past passive participle of duś

Declension edit