IOU

noun
\ ˌī-(ˌ)ō-ˈyü How to pronounce IOU (audio) \

Definition of IOU

1 : a paper that has on it the letters IOU, a stated sum, and a signature and that is given as an acknowledgment of debt

Examples of IOU in a Sentence

I don't have any cash, so I'll have to give you an IOU.

First Known Use of IOU

1795, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for IOU

from the pronunciation of I owe you

Learn More About IOU

Dictionary Entries Near IOU

iota subscript

IOU

-ious

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for IOU

Cite this Entry

“IOU.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/IOU. Accessed 25 Sep. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for IOU

IOU

noun
\ ˌī-ō-ˈyü How to pronounce IOU (audio) \

Kids Definition of IOU

: a written promise to pay a debt

More from Merriam-Webster on IOU

Nglish: Translation of IOU for Spanish Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!