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English definition of “owe”

owe

verb [T] uk   /əʊ/ us    //

owe verb [T] (HAVE DEBTS)

B1 to need to pay or give something to someone because they have lent money to you, or in exchange for something they have done for you: [+ two objects] I owe Janet £10. We still owe $1,000 on our car (= we still need to pay $1,000 before we own our car). I owe you a drink for helping me move. I think you owe (= should give) me an explanation/apology.
See also

owe verb [T] (AS A RESULT)

C2 to have success, happiness, a job, etc. only because of what someone has given you or done for you or because of your own efforts: I owe my success to my education. He owes his life to the staff at the hospital. I owe everything (= I am very grateful) to my parents.
(Definition of owe from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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