• An action, state of mind, or object one has an obligation to perform for another, adopt toward another, or give to another.
  • The state or condition of owing something to another.
  • Money that one person or entity owes or is required to pay to another, generally as a result of a loan or other financial transaction.
  • An action at law to recover a certain specified sum of money alleged to be due


  • From Middle English dette, dett, borrowed from Old French dete (French dette), from Medieval Latin dēbita, from Latin dēbitum ("what is owed, a debt, a duty"), neuter of dēbitus, perfect passive participle of dēbeō, contraction of *dehibeō, from de + habeō. debit.
  • The unpronounced "b" in the modern English spelling is a Latinisation from the Latin etymon dēbitum.

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