verb \ˈō\

: to need to pay or repay money to a person, bank, business, etc.

: to need to do or give something to someone who has done something for you or given something to you

—used to say that something should be done for or given to someone


Full Definition of OWE

transitive verb
a archaic :  possess, own
b :  to have or bear (an emotion or attitude) to someone or something <owes the boss a grudge>
a (1) :  to be under obligation to pay or repay in return for something received :  be indebted in the sum of <owes me $5> (2) :  to be under obligation to render (as duty or service) <I owe you a favor>
b :  to be indebted to <owes the grocer for supplies>
:  to be indebted for <owed his wealth to his father> <owes much to good luck>
intransitive verb
:  to be in debt <owes for his house>
:  to be attributable <an idea that owes to Greek philosophy>
owe it
:  to have a responsibility to do something to satisfy an obligation or duty <owes it to voters to explain his reasons>

Examples of OWE

  1. We owe no income tax.
  2. I owe the bank a lot of money.
  3. Additional payments are owed on the mortgage.
  4. I still owe on the car.
  5. I owe you a drink.
  6. I owe you my thanks.
  7. She still owes me for all the times I've helped her out.

Origin of OWE

Middle English, to possess, own, owe, from Old English āgan; akin to Old High German eigun (1st & 3d plural present indicative) possess, Sanskrit īśe he possesses
First Known Use: before 12th century
OWED Defined for Kids


verb \ˈō\

Definition of OWE for Kids

:  to be obligated to pay, give, or return <I still owe 100 dollars.> <I don't owe any favors to anyone.>
:  to be in debt to <You owe me money.>
:  to have as a result <I owe my success to hard work.>


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