Definition for DEBT

DEBT, n. [det; L. debitum, contracted; Fr. dette; Sp. and It. debito. See Debit.]

  1. That which is due from one person to another, whether money, goods or services; that which one person is bound to pay or perform to another; as, the debts of a bankrupt; the debts of a nobleman. It is a common misfortune or vice to be in debt. When you run in debt, you give to another power over your liberty. – Franklin.
  2. That which any one is obliged to do or to suffer. Your son, my lord, has paid a soldier's debt. – Shak. Hence death is called the debt of nature.
  3. In law, an action to recover debt. This is a customary ellipsis. He brought debt, instead of an action of debt.
  4. In Scripture, sin; trespass; guilt; crime; that which renders liable to punishment. Forgive us our debts. – Lord's Prayer.

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