What does owe mean?

Definitions for owe

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word owe.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. oweverb

    be obliged to pay or repay

  2. oweverb

    be indebted to, in an abstract or intellectual sense

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

  3. oweverb

    be in debt

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


  1. oweverb

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

  2. oweverb

    To have debt, to be in debt.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Oweverb

    Etymology: eg aa, I owe, or I ought, Islandick.

    I owe you much, and, like a witless youth,
    That which I owe is lost. William Shakespeare, Merch. of Ven.

    Let none seek needless causes to approve
    The saith they owe. John Milton, Par. Lost, b. ix.

    All your parts of pious duty done,
    You owe your Ormond nothing but a son. Dryden.

    Thou hast deserv’d more love than I can show,
    But ’tis thy fate to give, and mine to owe. Dryden.

    If, upon the general balance of trade, English merchants owe to foreigners one hundred thousand pounds, if commodities do not, our money must go out to pay it. John Locke.

    By me upheld, that he may know how frail
    His fall’n condition is, and to me owe
    All his deliv’rance, and to none but me. John Milton.

    O deem thy fall not ow’d to man’s decree,
    Jove hated Greece, and punish’d Greece in thee. Alexander Pope.

    Thou dost here usurp
    The name thou ow’st not, and hast put thyself
    Upon this island as a spy. William Shakespeare, Tempest.

    Fate, shew thy force; ourselves we do not owe;
    What is decreed must be; and be this so. William Shakespeare.

    Not poppy nor mandragora,
    Nor all the drowsy sirups of the world,
    Shall ever med’cine thee to that sweet sleep
    Which thou owed’st yesterday. William Shakespeare, Othello.

    If any happy eye
    This roving wanton shall descry,
    Let the finder surely know
    Mine is the wag; ’tis I that owe
    The winged wand’rer. Richard Crashaw.

    This was owing to an indifference to the pleasures of life, and an aversion to the pomps of it. Francis Atterbury.

    You are both too bold;
    I’ll teach you all what’s owing to your queen. Dryden.

    The debt, owing from one country to the other, cannot be paid without real effects sent thither to that value. John Locke.

    If we estimate things, what in them is owing to nature, and what to labour, we shall find in most of them 99/100 to be on the account of labour. John Locke.

    The custom of particular impeachments was not limited any more than that of struggles between nobles and commons, the ruin of Greece was owing to the former, as that of Rome was to the latter. Jonathan Swift.


  1. OWE

    Opportunistic Wireless Encryption (OWE) is a Wi-Fi standard which ensures that the communication between each pair of endpoints is protected from other endpoints. Unlike conventional Wi-Fi, it provides "Individualized Data Protection" such that data traffic between a client and access point is "individualized". Other clients can still sniff and record this traffic, but they can't decrypt it. OWE is an extension to IEEE 802.11. it is an encryption technique similar to that of Simultaneous Authentication of Equals (SAE) and is specified by Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in RFC 8110 with devices certified as Wi-Fi Certified Enhanced Open by the Wi-Fi Alliance.


  1. owe

    To owe is to be under a moral, legal, or financial obligation to pay, repay or give something to someone. It typically refers to an outstanding debt or unfulfilled obligation that needs to be settled or met.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Owe

    ō, v.t. to possess or to be the owner of: to have what belongs to another: to be bound to pay: to be obliged for.—v.i. to be in debt.—Be owing, to be due or ascribed (to). [A.S. ágan, pres. indic. áh, pret. áhte, pa.p. ágen; Ice. eiga, Old High Ger. eigan, to possess.]

Suggested Resources

  1. OWE

    What does OWE stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the OWE acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

Matched Categories

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

How to pronounce owe?

How to say owe in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of owe in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of owe in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of owe in a Sentence

  1. Daniel Radcliffe:

    Everyone always seems amazed that I'm not a raging monster as a human being from growing up in the industry so young, the only people that aren't amazed by that are people who know my parents because, I'm there son so it makes sense that I would turn out okay. I owe them my sanity and they're amazing.

  2. Jay Foreman:

    We are worried less about what they owe us today and more about what they won't buy from us tomorrow.

  3. Abraham Lincoln:

    All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.

  4. European Commission:

    The choice is clear, it is this deal, or #Brexit may not happen at all. Let's bring the UK's withdrawal to an orderly end. We owe it to history.

  5. Adam Kinzinger:

    If you think the Donald Trump thing in the long term is going to be the winning coalition and not somebody like me that's conservative but doesn't offend people, and doesn't go out and attack and say that you owe me everything, and doesn't incite insurrections -- then we'll be a minority party forever.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for owe

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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