Definition of owe
1a archaic : possess, ownb : to have or bear (an emotion or attitude) to someone or something owes the boss a grudge owes his friend an apology They owe allegiance to their country. Children owe their parents respect.
2a (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 (something, such as duty or service) I owe you a favor. A lawyer owes her client legal advice.b : to be indebted to owes the grocer for supplies
3 : to be indebted for owed his wealth to his father owes much to good luck
1 : to be in debt owes for his house
2 : to be attributable an idea that owes to Greek philosophy
: to have a responsibility to do something to satisfy an obligation or duty owes it to voters to explain his reasons I owed it to her to give her this opportunity — Colin MacIness
Examples of owe in a Sentence
We owe no income tax.
I owe the bank a lot of money.
Additional payments are owed on the mortgage.
I still owe on the car.
I owe you a drink.
I owe you my thanks.
She still owes me for all the times I've helped her out.
Recent Examples of owe from the Web
And many of these nations owe massive amounts of money from past years and not paying in those past years.
For this reason, the master-slave relationship was highly contingent, depending on how much debt the slave owed to the master and the purposes to which the master sought to use his or her slaves.
All of the borrowing is expected to come at a high interest rate, given the district's junk bond ratings, and will be piled on top of the $9 billion CPS already owes to its creditors.
Americans with credit scores of less than 620, which is typically considered subprime or deep subprime, owe roughly $280 billion in auto loans — exceeding their pre-recession peak set in 2007, according to the New York Federal Reserve.
In some cases, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service placed liens on buildings because the district owes more than $8 million in back payroll taxes.
There is both assuredness and humility about Lauer and Quantrill that is undoubtedly inherent but also partially owes to their experience.
Creditors are also complaining about the exclusion from the restructuring list of about 500 million manat ($297 million) of subordinated debt owed to the Central Bank of Azerbaijan.
Although fliers of all sorts appeared throughout New York City, the blocks below 14th Street provided particularly fertile ground for political postings, perhaps owing to the area’s tradition of dissent.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'owe'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of owe
Middle English, to possess, own, owe, from Old English āgan; akin to Old High German eigun (1st & 3rd plural present indicative) possess, Sanskrit īśe he possesses
First Known Use: before 12th centurySee Words from the same year
OWE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of owe for English Language Learners
: 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
OWE Defined for Kids
Definition of owe for Students
1 : to be obligated to pay, give, or return I still owe 100 dollars. I don't owe any favors to anyone.
2 : to be in debt to You owe me money.
3 : to have as a result I owe my success to hard work.
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