Definition of duty noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈdjuːti//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈduːti//
    (pl. duties) Moral
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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 councillors 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. See related entries: Moral
  2. 2  [uncountable] the work that is your job Report for duty at 8 a.m. see also night duty
  3. 3  duties [plural] tasks that are part of your job I spend a lot of my time on administrative duties. Your duties will include setting up a new computer system. see also heavy-duty
  4. 4  [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
  5. see also death duty, stamp duty
    Word Originlate Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French duete, from Old French deu ‘owed’, based on Latin debitus ‘owed’, from debere ‘owe’ . Synonymstaxduty customs tariff ratesThese 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 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 customs duties on all imports. customs 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.rates (in Britain) a tax paid by businesses to a local authority for land and buildings that they use, and in the past also paid by anyone who owned a house:Business rates are very high in the city centre.Patterns (a) tax/​duty/​tariff/​rates on something to pay an amount of money in tax/​duty/​customs/​rates to pay (a) tax/​duty/​customs/​tariff/​rates to collect taxes/​duties/​rates to increase/​raise/​reduce taxes/​duty/​tariffs/​rates to cut taxes/​duties/​rates to impose a tax/​duty/​tariff to put a tax/​duty on somethingExtra examples At 10.45 p.m. she reported for night duty. Beer for personal use is exempt from duty. By changing its supplier, the company saved thousands of pounds in import duty. Cider carries duty at the lower rate. Colleagues became suspicious when he failed to report for duty. He felt it was his moral duty to help his neighbour. He had failed in his duty to his daughter. He has volunteered for temporary duty assignments in counterterrorist activities. He leaves hospital tomorrow and is expected to resume his duties at the beginning of next month. He took on the duty of maintaining the family home. He was accused of neglecting his professional duties. He was unable to perform his assigned duties because of ill health. He was was on kitchen duty. He went to the police station and spoke to the duty officer. He’s been suspended from active duty. Her son was released from duty in the army to visit her in hospital. I can’t abandon my duty. I did it out of a sense of duty. I feel it is my civic duty to vote. I feel it’s my bounden duty to try and help her. I felt it my duty to go to the police. I share the cooking duties with Bell. I suppose we’d better do our duty and report the accident. I wanted to stop and chat, but duty called and I went back to the office. I’d be shirking my duty if I didn’t warn him. I’m off duty tomorrow night. It was a clear breach of professional duty. It was a duty imposed by her father. It was ruled that the injured man was in breach of his duty by not wearing the safety equipment provided. It’s the duty of each and every one of us to do their best for the team. My household duties were not particularly onerous. Perfume is liable to import duty. Police usually do beat duty in pairs. Retailers have a statutory duty to provide goods suitable for their purpose. Sergeant Wilson had pulled parking-lot duty. Several years ago I was called for jury duty. She felt she had fulfilled her duty by providing him with a son. She had violated her legal duty of confidentiality. She put down the phone and went out, her duty done. She was unable to carry out her duties because she was too ill. The bank will urge ministers to raise the 1% stamp duty threshold. The cleaning duties now fell to Rachel. The company is liable if you are injured during the execution of your duty. The company owes a duty of care to all its customers. The company prefers to handle translation duties in-house. The members of staff each have their own duties. The regular presenter does double duty as a staff writer. The soldier was sent to his new duty station. The time he put in helping new recruits went beyond the call of duty. The traffic lights were not working so there was a policeman on point duty. The troops are here to perform peacekeeping duties. There will also be stamp duty payable at the applicable rate. They are going to put duty on foreign cars. They claim that the wine is for personal use and so evade the duty. They have a duty of confidentiality. They have a duty to their parents to work hard. They’re going to put up the duty on tobacco. Tobacco duty is a major source of revenue for the government. We tried to estimate the amount of duty we would have to pay. When I returned to work after my illness I was put on light duties. When he failed to turn up for training, he was relieved of his duties as captain. You are under a statutory duty to keep accurate records. You feel that you have to do your duty by your children. You have a legal duty to take reasonable care. You have to pay duty on all electrical goods. You’re not allowed to drink alcohol on duty. excise duty on spirits the company’s fiduciary duty to its shareholders the general duty of the police to preserve the peace the heavy duty on cigarettes the supermarket’s senior duty manager veterans who saw combat duty in Vietnam Duty on wine and beer has been increased. He will be allowed to return to his duties after the enquiry. I don’t want you to visit me simply out of a sense of duty. I’ll have to go I’m afraid— duty calls. Mr Davies had been relieved of his duties. Report for duty at 8 a.m. She spends a lot of time on her administrative duties. The company has to pay customs duties on all imports. The suspect was charged with obstructing an officer in the course of his duties. duty-free cigarettesIdioms (old-fashioned, formal) 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. while doing a job A policeman was injured in the line of duty yesterday.  (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 American Dictionary entry: duty