owe
Pronunciation
  • (British) IPA: /əʊ/
  • (America) enPR: ō, IPA: /oʊ/
Verb

owe (owes, present participle owing; past owed, past participle owed)

  1. (transitive) To be under an obligation to give something back to someone or to perform some action for someone.
    • 1596-99, Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act I, scene i:
      [...] To you, Antonio,
      I owe the most, in money and in love;
      And from your love I have a warranty
      To unburden all my plots and purposes
      How to get clear of all the debts I owe.
    • 1854, Charles Dickens, Hard Times, Chapter 7:
      He inherited a fair fortune from his uncle, but owed it all before he came into it, and spent it twice over immediately afterwards.
  2. (intransitive) To have debt; to be in debt.
Translations Translations


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