- 1 [countable] a sum of money that someone owes I need to pay off all my debts before I leave the country. an outstanding debt of $300 He had run up credit card debts of thousands of dollars.
- 2 [uncountable] the situation of owing money, especially when you cannot pay He died heavily in debt. The club is $4 million in debt. We were poor but we never got into debt. It's hard to stay out of debt when you are a student. a country's foreign debt burden see also bad debt
- 3[countable, usually singular] the fact that you should feel grateful to someone because they have helped you or been kind to you to owe a debt of gratitude to someone I would like to acknowledge my debt to my teachers. Idioms
nounjump to other results
to feel grateful to someone for their help, kindness, etc.
be in somebody's debt (formal)jump to other results
used to say that someone is being punished for a crime, usually by being put in prison He paid his debt to society for his previous convictions and is now a free man.
somebody pays their debt to societyjump to other results