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Definition of OWE

1 definition found:



Owe \Owe\ ([=o]), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Owed} ([=o]d), ({Ought} ([add]t) obs.); p. pr. & vb. n. {Owing} ([=o]"[i^]ng).] [OE. owen, awen, aghen, to have, own, have (to do), hence, owe, AS. [=a]gan to have; akin to G. eigen, a., own, Icel. eiga to have, Dan. eie, Sw. [aum]ga, Goth. ['a]igan, Skr. [imac][,c]. [root]110. Cf. {Ought}, v., 2d {Own}, {Fraught}.]
     1. To possess; to have, as the rightful owner; to own. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

              Thou dost here usurp
              The name thou ow'st not.              --Shak. [1913 Webster]

     2. To have or possess, as something derived or bestowed; to be obliged to ascribe (something to some source); to be indebted or obliged for; as, he owed his wealth to his father; he owed his victory to his lieutenants. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

              O deem thy fall not owed to man's decree. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

     3. Hence: To have or be under an obigation to restore, pay, or render (something) in return or compensation for something received; to be indebted in the sum of; as, the subject owes allegiance; the fortunate owe assistance to the unfortunate. [1913 Webster]

              The one ought five hundred pence, and the other fifty.                                --Bible (1551). [1913 Webster]

              A son owes help and honor to his father. --Holyday. [1913 Webster]

     Note: Owe was sometimes followed by an objective clause introduced by the infinitive. "Ye owen to incline and bow your heart." --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

     4. To have an obligation to (some one) on account of something done or received; to be indebted to; as, to owe the grocer for supplies, or a laborer for services. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]


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