Definition of duty noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

      

    duty

     noun
    noun
    NAmE//ˈdut̮i//
     
    (pl. duties)
     
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  1. 1 [countable, uncountable] something that you feel you have to do because it is your moral or legal responsibility It is my duty to report it to the police. Local officials have a duty to serve the community. I don't want you to visit me simply out of a sense of duty. your duties as a parent to do your duty for your country I'll have to go I'm afraid—duty calls. The company owes a duty of care to its customers.
  2. 2[uncountable] the work that is your job Report for duty at 8 a.m. see also night duty
  3. 3duties [plural] tasks that are part of your job I spend a lot of my time on administrative duties. Your duties include data entry and record keeping. see also heavy-duty Thesaurustaskduties mission job choreThese are all words for a piece of work that someone has to do.task a piece of work that someone has to do, especially a difficult or unpleasant one:Our first task is to set up a communications system.duties tasks that are part of your job:Your duties include data entry and record keeping.mission an important official job that a person or group of people is given to do, especially when they are sent to another country:They went on a fact-finding mission to learn more about it.job a piece of work that someone has to do:I've got various jobs around the house.task or job?A task may be more difficult than a job and require you to think carefully about how you are going to do it. A job may be something small that is one of several things that you have to do, especially in the home; or a job can be something that takes a long time and is boring and/or needs a lot of patience.chore a task that you have to do regularly, especially one that you do in the home and find unpleasant or boring:household choresPatterns the task/mission/job/chore of (doing) something (a) daily/day-to-day task/duties/job/chore (a) routine task/duties/mission/job/chore a/an easy/difficult task/mission/job/chore (a) household/domestic task/duties/job/chore to do a task/a job/the chores to finish a task/a mission/a job/the chores to give somebody a task/their duties/a mission/a job/a chore
  4. 4[uncountable] (in compounds) a job that you have to do in the place where you live The kids are on bathroom duty tomorrow.
  5. 5[countable, uncountable] a tax that you pay on things that you buy, especially those that you bring into a country customs/excise/import duties duty on something duty on wine and beer Thesaurustaxduty customs duty/charge tariffThese are all words for money that you have to pay to the government.tax money that you have to pay to the government so that it can pay for public services:income tax sales tax tax cutsduty a tax that you pay on things that you buy, especially those that you bring into a country:The company has to pay duty on all imported merchandise.customs duty/charge tax that is paid when goods are brought in from other countriestariff a tax that is paid on goods coming into or going out of a country, often in order to protect industry from cheap imports:A general tariff was imposed on foreign imports.Patterns (a) tax/duty/tariff on something to pay an amount of money in tax/duty/customs duty to pay (a) tax/duty/customs duty/tariff/rates to collect taxes/duties to increase/raise/reduce taxes/duty/tariffs to cut taxes/duties to impose a tax/duty/tariff to put a tax/duty >on>something
  6. Idioms
    a/your bounden duty(old-fashioned)(formal)
     
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    something that you feel you must do; a responsibility which cannot be ignored He felt it was his bounden duty to tell the police what he knew. We have a bounden duty to respond to this call for help.
    do duty as/for something
     
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    to serve or act as a substitute for something else A drinking glass can do duty as a flower vase.
    in the line of duty
     
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    while doing a job A policeman was injured in the line of duty yesterday.
    on/off duty
     
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    (of nurses, police officers, etc.) working/not working at a particular time Who's on duty today? What time do you go off duty? see also off-duty
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: duty