debt

debt, indebtedness, obligation, liability, debit, arrear mean something, and especially a sum of money, that is owed another.
Debt usually implies that the amount is owed in return for goods, property, or services and can be definitely computed or, if something other than money is owed, that it equals in value if not in kind the thing sold or the service given
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incur a heavy debt for repairs to his house

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pay one's social debts

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this debt is now due

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the firm has no debts at present

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Indebtedness is applied either to the total amount owed one's creditors or a single creditor
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the indebtedness of the city exceeds the legal limit

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his indebtedness to his father fell just short of a thousand dollars

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Obligation, which is chiefly a legal term in this sense, implies a formal agreement to pay a certain amount or to do something or an acknowledgment of such an agreement (as by a contract or a bond)
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a contract is said to be "performed" . . . when all the obligations have been fulfilled on both sides— Rubinstein

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Liability is an accountant's term used chiefly in reference to general balance sheets of a company or corporation and is the opposite of asset. It is also used of the affairs of individuals especially in bankruptcy actions. It applies to any amount which constitutes an item of indebtedness. Liabilities include accounts payable, accrued interest, taxes, such obligations as notes, bonds, and debentures, and even capital stock.
Debit is also a term in accounting for any item shown on the left side of an account; it usually designates a purchase and its price and is opposed to credit, or any entry on the right side (that is, for an article returned or an amount paid on account).
Arrear especially in its plural arrears usually implies that some of a debt, but not all, has been paid, but it always implies that the amount owed is overdue
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pay off the arrears of one's rent

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the servants found it difficult to obtain the arrears of their wages

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New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • debt — n [Old French dette, ultimately from Latin debita, plural of debitum debt, from neuter of debitus, past participle of debere to owe] 1: something owed: as a: a specific sum of money or a performance due another esp. by agreement (as a loan… …   Law dictionary

  • debt — W2S2 [det] n [Date: 1200 1300; : Old French; Origin: dette, from Latin debitum, from debere to owe ] 1.) a sum of money that a person or organization owes debt of ▪ This over ambitious strategy has saddled them with debts of around $3,000,000.… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Debt — • That which is owed or due to another; in general, anything which one person is under an obligation to pay or render to another Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Debt     Debt      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • debt — [ det ] noun *** 1. ) count an amount of money that you owe: By this time we had debts of over $15,000. run up a debt (=let it increase): She had run up debts of nearly $10,000. pay (off)/repay a debt: Many people experience difficulty in paying… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Debt — 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}.] 1. That which is due from one person to another, whether money, goods, or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • debt — debt; debt·less; debt·or; in·debt; in·debt·ed; in·debt·ed·ness; in·debt·ment; …   English syllables

  • debt — A liability on a claim (SA Bankruptcy.com) Under Title 11 U.S.C. Section 101: (12) The term debt means liability on a claim. United Glossary of Bankruptcy Terms 2012 …   Glossary of Bankruptcy

  • debt — [det] n. [altered (after L) < ME & OFr dette < L debitum, neut. pp. of debere, to owe < de , from + habere, to have: see HABIT] 1. something owed by one person to another or others 2. an obligation or liability to pay or return something …   English World dictionary

  • debt — (n.) late 13c., dette, from O.Fr. dete, from L. debitum thing owed, neuter pp. of debere to owe, originally, keep something away from someone, from de away (see DE (Cf. de )) + habere to have (see HABIT (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • debt — [n] money owed to others albatross*, arrearage, arrears, bad news*, baggage*, below the line*, bill, bite*, capital, check, chit*, claim, commitment, credit, cuff*, damage*, dead horse*, debenture, debit, deficit, due, dues, duty, encumbrance,… …   New thesaurus

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