W3S2 [əu US ou] v [T]
2¦(something done/given)¦
3 owe somebody an explanation/apology
4¦(help to achieve something)¦
5¦(good effect)¦
6 owe it to somebody to do something
7 owe it to yourself to do something
8 owe loyalty/allegiance etc to somebody
9 think that the world owes you a living
[: Old English; Origin: agan]
1.) ¦(MONEY)¦
to need to pay someone for something that they have done for you or sold to you, or to need to give someone back money that they have lent you
→↑borrow, lend ↑lend
owe sb money/£10 etc
I owe my brother $50.
owe sb for sth
I still owe you for the taxi.
How much do I owe you (=often used to show that you want to pay for something) ?
owe sth to sb
the money owed to credit card companies
to feel that you should do something for someone or give someone something, because they have done something for you or given something to you
He asked for help from a colleague who owed him a favour .
owe sb a drink/letter etc
I owe Shaun a letter; I must write soon.
Thanks a lot for being so understanding about all this - I owe you one (=used to thank someone who has helped you, and to say that you are willing to help them in the future) !
owe sb
(=be in a position in which someone has helped you, so that you should help them)
Let's go and see Joe - he owes me!
3.) owe sb an explanation/apology
to feel that you should give someone an explanation of why you did something, or say you are sorry
You owe him an apology.
a) to have something or achieve something because of what someone else has done
owe sth to sb
He probably owes his life to her prompt action.
b) to know that someone's help has been important to you in achieving something
owe sb a lot/owe sb a great deal
'I owe my parents a lot,' he admitted.
He owes a great deal to his publishers.
owe it all to sb/owe everything to sb
I owe it all to you.
owe sb a debt (of gratitude)
the debt that we owe to our teachers
to be successful because of the good effect or influence of something or someone
owe to
Their success owes more to good luck than to careful management.
Pearson's work owed much to the research of his friend, Hugh Kingsmill.
6.) owe it to sb to do sth
to feel you should do something for someone, because they have helped you or given you support
You owe it to your supporters not to give up now.
7.) owe it to yourself to do sth
to feel you should try to achieve something because it is what you deserve
You owe it to yourself to take some time off.
8.) owe loyalty/allegiance etc to sb
to have a duty to obey someone
provinces owing allegiance to the Emperor
9.) think that the world owes you a living
to be unwilling to work in order to get things, and expect them to be provided for you - used to show disapproval

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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  • owe — [ əu ] verb transitive *** 1. ) if you owe someone money, you have to give them a particular amount of money because you have bought something from them or borrowed money from them. Money that you owe is called a debt: Tell me how much I owe, and …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • owe — [əʊ ǁ oʊ] verb [transitive] FINANCE to have not yet paid someone money you should pay them, or to have not yet paid back money you borrowed: • She owes taxes for the past three years. owe somebody something (for something) • He owes the company… …   Financial and business terms

  • 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.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Owe — is a surname or given name, a spelling variation of Ove, and may refer to: Baard Owe (born 1936), Norwegian born actor Owe Hellberg (born 1953), Swedish Left Party politician Owe Jonsson (1940 1962), Swedish athlete Owe Wiktorin (born 1940),… …   Wikipedia

  • owe — I verb be beholden, be bound, be due, be in debt, be indebted, be liable, be obligated, be under obligation, contract a debt, debere, have a loan, have an obligation, incur a debt associated concepts: debt owed, debtor creditor laws, legally owed …   Law dictionary

  • owe — ► VERB 1) be required to pay (money or goods) to (someone) in return for something received. 2) be morally obliged to show (gratitude, respect, etc.) or to offer (an explanation) to (someone). 3) (owe something to) have something because of. 4)… …   English terms dictionary

  • owe — owe·nia; owe; …   English syllables

  • owe — [ō] vt. owed, owing [ME owen < OE agan, to own, possess, have, akin to Goth aigan, OHG eigan < IE base * ēik , to have as one s own, be capable (of) > Sans * īśē, (he) possesses] 1. to have an obligation to pay; be indebted to the amount …   English World dictionary

  • owe — (v.) O.E. agan (past tense ahte) to have, own, from P.Gmc. *aiganan to possess (Cf. O.Fris. aga, O.N. eiga, O.H.G. eigan, Goth. aigan to possess, have ), from PIE *aik to be master of, possess (Cf. Skt. ise he owns …   Etymology dictionary

  • owe — [v] have an obligation be beholden, be bound, be contracted, behind, be in arrears, be in debt, be indebted, be into one for, be obligated, be under obligation, feel bound, get on credit, have borrowed, incur, in hock*, lost, on the tab*, ought… …   New thesaurus

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