in·​debt·​ed | \ in-ˈde-təd \

Definition of indebted

1 : owing gratitude or recognition to another : beholden
2 : owing money

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Synonyms for indebted


beholden, bounden [archaic], obligated, obliged

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Examples of indebted in a Sentence

thereafter forever felt indebted to the producer for giving her her lucky break

Recent Examples on the Web

Why should a deeply indebted federal government provide another financial incentive for its unaffordable workforce to stay put? James Freeman, WSJ, "The Pelosi Pay Raise," 4 Jan. 2019 But others also note that Sri Lanka’s government, still heavily indebted to China, could be pressured to allow it. Maria Abi-habib, New York Times, "How China Got Sri Lanka to Cough Up a Port," 25 June 2018 Attractive Assets Miners' profits have recovered, and some indebted governments are looking to them as sources of revenue. Alexandra Wexler, WSJ, "Countries Push to Extract More Cash from Big Mining Companies," 18 Nov. 2018 These highly indebted companies will likely navigate the next recession, and the resulting bankruptcies and losses will stress the economy and financial system. Emily Stewart, Vox, "How close are we to another financial crisis? 8 experts weigh in.," 18 Sep. 2018 Due to that small act of kindness, Ake became forever indebted to the little girl and her mother, swearing to protect them. Ariana Romero,, "Was Maeve Mind Controlling Her Daughter On Westworld?," 11 June 2018 Since the dire days of the Greek crisis, economists and bankers have floated the idea of another currency for highly indebted eurozone countries. New York Times, "Betting on Crisis, Hedge Funds Short Italian Bonds," 7 June 2018 And even though court processes have improved, foreign investors in situations where over-indebted companies are cutting jobs run the risk of quickly becoming a convenient boogeyman. Andrew Peaple, WSJ, "Thick Skins and Local Savvy Needed in China’s Bad Debt Markets," 12 Nov. 2018 According to the liability statement, Tesla is indebted to the Employment Security Division of the state of Nevada. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Tesla sued by Nevada for failure to pay $650,000 in taxes," 9 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'indebted.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of indebted

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for indebted

Middle English indetted, from Anglo-French endetté, past participle of endetter to run into debt, from en- + dette debt

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Statistics for indebted

Last Updated

9 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for indebted

The first known use of indebted was in the 13th century

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English Language Learners Definition of indebted

: owing something (such as money or thanks) to someone or something : in debt


in·​debt·​ed | \ in-ˈde-təd \

Kids Definition of indebted

: being in debt : owing something I'm indebted to you for your kindness.

Other Words from indebted

indebtedness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on indebted

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for indebted

Spanish Central: Translation of indebted

Nglish: Translation of indebted for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of indebted for Arabic Speakers

Comments on indebted

What made you want to look up indebted? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express emotion in a dramatic way

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