- debtW2S2 [det] n[Date: 1200-1300; : Old French; Origin: dette, from Latin debitum, from debere 'to owe']1.)a sum of money that a person or organization owesdebt of▪ This over-ambitious strategy has saddled them with debts of around $3,000,000.pay (off)/repay/clear/settle etc a debt▪ He had enough money to pay off his father's outstanding debts.▪ Romania is paying more and more to Western banks simply to service the debt (=pay it) .run up/amass debts▪ students who run up huge debts2.) [U]when you owe money to someone≠ ↑credit in debt (to sb)▪ Nearly half the students said they were in debt.▪ The band will be in debt to the record company for years.£200/$1000 etc in debt▪ A rash business decision left him $600 in debt.get/run/fall etc into debt▪ The club sank deeper into debt .be heavily/deeply in debt(=owe a lot of money)3.) [C usually singular]the degree to which you have learned from or been influenced by someone or something elsedebt to▪ Braque acknowledged his debt to Impressionist painting.4.) debt of gratitude/thanksthe fact of being grateful to someone who has helped you▪ I owe a debt of gratitude to my tutors.
Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.