Debt (?), n. [OE. dette, F. dette, LL. debita, fr. L. debitus owed, p. p. of debere to owe, prop., to have on loan; de- + habere to have. See Habit, and cf. Debit, Due.]


That which is due from one person to another, whether money, goods, or services; that which one person is bound to pay to another, or to perform for his benefit; thing owed; obligation; liability.

Your son, my lord, has paid a soldier's debt. Shak.

When you run in debt, you give to another power over your liberty. Franklin.


A duty neglected or violated; a fault; a sin; a trespass.

"Forgive us our debts."

Matt. vi. 12.

3. Law

An action at law to recover a certain specified sum of money alleged to be due.


Bond debt, Book debt, etc. See under Bond, Book, etc. -- Debt of nature, death.


© Webster 1913.