- 1A sum of money that is owed or due: I paid off my debts [mass noun]: a way to reduce Third World debtMore example sentences
- Samantha Leigh, mitigating, said he had taken the money to pay gambling debts.
- Garda sources believe the gangs may have been desperate to raise money to pay off debts.
- If you are earning money and have big debts it may not be worth over committing yourself in savings.
- 1.1 [mass noun] The state of owing money: the firm is heavily in debtMore example sentences
owing money, in arrears, behind with payments, late with payments, overdue with payments, overdrawn; insolvent, bankrupt, bankrupted, ruined, in the hands of the receivers; British in liquidationBritish • informal , • dated in Carey Street
- After the divorce was granted, Rene discovered there would be no money as her husband was heavily in debt.
- Although the man did owe small sums of money, there is no evidence to suggest that he was heavily in debt.
- He wanted to know why the trust was so severely in debt, despite receiving record funding from the government.
- 1.2A feeling of gratitude for a service or favour: I would like to acknowledge my debt to my teachersMore example sentences
- All owe her a huge debt of gratitude for her many years of dedicated service to the Church.
- Council chairman Alex Carder said the volunteers were owed a debt of gratitude by the rest of the community.
- I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to those past winners who have truly inspired me.
be in someone's debt
- Owe gratitude to someone for a service or favour: God bless you—I am forever in your debtMore example sentences
- If you know of any, drop me a line and I'll be in your debt forever.
- Steve's contribution to date has been immense and is one for which the club and all associated with it will forever be in his debt.
- I have never really had friends like your cousin and you and I will forever be in your debt.
Middle English dette: from Old French, based on Latin debitum 'something owed', past participle of debere 'owe'. The spelling change in French and English was by association with the Latin word.