debt·​or ˈde-tər How to pronounce debtor (audio)
: one guilty of neglect or violation of duty
: one who owes a debt

Examples of debtor in a Sentence

The debtor agrees to pay the debt over a three-year period.
Recent Examples on the Web Additionally, usury caps on auto loans need to be strictly enforced, and the backdoor loopholes to debtors’ prisons should be closed. Jack McCordick, The New Republic, 13 Sep. 2023 This article has been updated with Figure as well as FTX debtors’ decisions to not comment on the filing. Ben Weiss, Fortune Crypto, 11 Sep. 2023 But 22 percent of credit card debtors who make at least $100,000 cite vacation and or entertainment expenses as the primary culprit. Michelle Singletary, Washington Post, 8 Aug. 2023 The decision may have ramifications for hundreds of debtors in Georgia each year. Margaret Coker, ProPublica, 13 July 2023 Everyone understands it — everyone, apparently, except the debtors [Diamond]. Brad Adgate, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2023 The debtors also claimed that FTX’s expenses and invoices were submitted on a Slack channel and approved via emoji. Will Daniel, Fortune, 10 Apr. 2023 Egypt, which is facing its own economic crisis, is the IMF’s second largest debtor. Nectar Gan, CNN, 28 Aug. 2023 To try to avoid repossession, some debtors turn to Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Margaret Coker, ProPublica, 13 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'debtor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of debtor was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near debtor

Cite this Entry

“Debtor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


debt·​or ˈdet-ər How to pronounce debtor (audio)
: sinner
: one that owes a debt

Legal Definition


: a person who owes a debt see also bankrupt compare creditor, obligee, obligor

Note: The Bankruptcy Act of 1978 calls the person concerned in a bankruptcy case the “debtor” as opposed to the “bankrupt.”

More from Merriam-Webster on debtor

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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