noun \ˈdet\

: an amount of money that you owe to a person, bank, company, etc.

: the state of owing money to someone or something

: the fact that you have been influenced or helped by someone or something

Full Definition of DEBT

:  sin, trespass
:  something owed :  obligation <unable to pay off his debts>
:  a state of owing <deeply in debt>
:  the common-law action for the recovery of money held to be due
debt·less \-ləs\ adjective

Examples of DEBT

  1. He is trying to pay off gambling debts.
  2. The company has run up huge debts.
  3. Their debts are piling up.
  4. He's been working three jobs in an attempt to get out of debt.
  5. The company was in debt but is now turning a profit.
  6. I am deep in debt.
  7. I'm thousands of dollars in debt.
  8. She went into debt to pay for college.
  9. I'm worried that we will fall into debt.

Origin of DEBT

Middle English dette, debte, from Anglo-French dette something owed, from Vulgar Latin *debita, from Latin, plural of debitum debt, from neuter of debitus, past participle of debēre to owe, from de- + habēre to have — more at give
First Known Use: 13th century

Other Economics Terms

actuary, compound interest, globalization, indemnity, portfolio, rentier, stagflation, usurer

Rhymes with DEBT

DEBT Defined for Kids


noun \ˈdet\

Definition of DEBT for Kids

:  1sin 1 <We ask forgiveness of our debts.>
:  something owed to another
:  the condition of owing something <I am in debt to you for all your help.>
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears