Definitions for IOU

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word IOU

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

IOU(n.)(pl.)IOUs, IOU's, or I.O.U.'s.

or I.O.U.

  1. a written acknowledgment of a debt, esp. an informal one consisting only of the letters IOU, the sum owed, and the debtor's signature.

Origin of IOU:

1785–95; repr. I owe you

Princeton's WordNet

  1. IOU(noun)

    an informal debt instrument; representing `I owe you'


  1. IOU(Noun)

    An informal written note promising to pay the stated sum.

    When David couldn't afford to match the money in the poker pot, he added an IOU for the remaining amount instead.

  2. Origin: From the pronunciation of "I owe you", not the initial letters.


  1. IOU

    An IOU is usually an informal document acknowledging debt. An IOU differs from a promissory note in that an IOU is not a negotiable instrument and does not specify repayment terms such as the time of repayment. IOUs usually specify the debtor, the amount owed, and sometimes the creditor. IOUs may be signed or carry distinguishing marks or designs to ensure authenticity. In some cases, IOUs may be redeemable for a specific product or service rather than a quantity of currency.

Translations for IOU

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


I owe you; a signed paper in which a person acknowledges a debt of a certain amount

I'll give you an IOU (for $ 150).

Get even more translations for IOU »


Find a translation for the IOU definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these IOU definitions with the community:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"IOU." STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 19 Dec. 2014. <>.

Are we missing a good definition for IOU?

The Web's Largest Resource for

Definitions & Translations

A Member Of The STANDS4 Network

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for IOU: