- 1Have an obligation to pay or repay (something, especially money) in return for something received: they have denied they owe money to the company [with two objects]: you owe me £19.50 for the electricity billMás ejemplos en oraciones
- Although the man did owe small sums of money, there is no evidence to suggest that he was heavily in debt.
- These men do low wage and often seasonal work, and owe large sums of money which most could never hope to pay off.
- A householder owing money will receive a written reminder and, if they ignore the letter, can expect a court summons.
- 1.1Owe something, especially money, to: I owe you for the taxiMás ejemplos en oraciones
- Brigget was nowhere to be found, so I helped myself to a mouth-wateringly good cherry tomato. Man, was it good! Brigget, I owe you for a tomato. Okay, okay… I owe you for two tomatoes!
- Subcontractors say Williams owes them for Harlem work.
- 1.2Be under a moral obligation to give someone (gratitude, respect, etc.): I owe it to him to explain what’s happened [with two objects]: I owe you an apologyMás ejemplos en oraciones
- British cycling has rarely had it so good, and for that a debt of gratitude is owed to Manchester and the National Cycling Centre.
- Respect is owed to Fast Forward for being a publication with a degree of journalistic integrity.
- Thank you very kindly; if you care to drop me a line telling me who you are, it would be nice to know to whom I owe my gratitude.
- 1.3 (owe something to) Have something because of: champagne houses owe their success to brand image I owe my life to youMás ejemplos en oraciones
- Judge owes his life to Tuskegee airmen.
- When asked ‘What do you owe your parents?’ his reply was ‘A long talking-to’.
owe it to oneself (to do something)
- Need to do something to protect one’s own interests: you owe it to yourself to take care of your bodyMás ejemplos en oraciones
- The ‘Personal Information Economy’ is fast becoming a reality, and we owe it to ourselves to protect it as best we can.
- Any commentator owes it to themselves to at the very least to read this book.
- And Alberta owes it to itself, to its future citizens, and to like-minded people in the rest of the country to save itself.
owe someone one
- • informal Feel indebted to someone: thanks, I owe you one for thisMás ejemplos en oraciones
- Thanks, I owe you one, here let me buy you a drink
- ‘He owes me one,’ said the Scot, who had to pick up Beckford at dawn at the airport after the Jamaican had missed his flight the night before.
- Maybe he thought he owed us one from the previous year.
—— owes one a living
- Used to express disapproval of someone who expects to receive financial support or other benefits without doing any work: they think the world owes them a livingMás ejemplos en oraciones
- What else do you expect from a guy who thinks the world owes him a living?
- We contribute very little to our society and we believe our society owes us a living.
- Don't go around saying the world owes you a living.
Old English āgan 'own, have it as an obligation', of Germanic origin; from an Indo-European root shared by Sanskrit īs 'possess, own'. Compare with ought1.