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

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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 Nabila Ahmed, Bloomberg News Deals Reporter, says Comcast is one of the most indebted American companies., "Surveillance: We’re Halfway Through this Cycle, Gimbel Predicts," 23 May 2018 There is a real possibility that Mr. Trump, who entered office promising to save Americans from the predations of foreigners, will leave office with the U.S. more indebted to them than ever. Greg Ip, WSJ, "How the Tax Cut President Trump Loves Will Deepen Trade Deficits He Hates," 18 Apr. 2018 Evergrande is China’s most indebted developer, with an eye-watering $88 billion of net debt. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "Evergrande’s Ever-Deeper Peril," 4 July 2018 Yet China’s indebted economy was already slowing before the trade war. The Economist, "In its trade war with America, China dials down the hype," 12 July 2018 Those instructions have put pressure on the banks to find solutions for deeply indebted borrowers instead of continuing to wait and hope that the government will offer bailouts. Keith Bradsher, New York Times, "China Moves to Shore Up Economy as Slowdown and Trade Fight Loom," 24 June 2018 But those steps have worried some Western European leaders and caused a backlash from investors who think Italy's government — among the most indebted in Europe — should prioritize fiscal restraint. Stefano Pitrelli And Chico Harlan,, "A political novice is on the verge of becoming Italy's prime minister," 21 May 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

16 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for indebted

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

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More Definitions for indebted



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).


noxious or harmful

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