Definitions for owe

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

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

owe(v.)owed, ow•ing.

  1. (v.t.)to be under obligation to pay or repay, or to render:

    I owe him a dollar. She owes me an apology.

  2. to be in debt to.

  3. to be indebted or beholden for:

    to owe one's fame to good fortune.

  4. to have or bear (a feeling or attitude) toward someone or something.

  5. Obs. to possess; own.

  6. (v.i.)to be in debt.

Origin of owe:

bef. 900; ME owen to possess, be under obligation, have to pay, OE āgan to possess, c. OFris āga, OHG eigan, ON eiga. Cf. own, ought

Princeton's WordNet

  1. owe(verb)

    be obliged to pay or repay

  2. owe(verb)

    be indebted to, in an abstract or intellectual sense

    "This new theory owes much to Einstein's Relativity Theory"

  3. owe(verb)

    be in debt

    "She owes me $200"; "I still owe for the car"; "The thesis owes much to his adviser"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. owe(verb)ʊ

    to be required to pay back money you have borrowed

    I owe you $20 for the ticket.; They haven't paid back the money they owe.

  2. oweʊ

    to feel grateful to sb, because they have helped you

    I owe my parents so much for all the help they gave me.

  3. oweʊ

    to have a duty to do sth for sb

    You owe her an apology.; We owe it to the rest of the staff to try to make the business work.


  1. owe(Verb)

    To be under an obligation to give something back to someone or to perform some action for someone.

  2. owe(Verb)

    To have debt, to be in debt.

British National Corpus

  1. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'owe' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2851

  2. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'owe' in Verbs Frequency: #499

Anagrams of owe

  1. woe

Translations for owe

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


to be in debt to

I owe (him) $10.

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