Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

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)
What is the pronunciation of owe?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “owe” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

for starters

used to say that something is the first in a list of things

Word of the Day

Come on – you can do it! Phrasal verbs with ‘come’.

by Liz Walter​,
November 19, 2014
As part of an occasional series on the tricky subject of phrasal verbs, this blog looks at ones formed with the verb ‘come’. If you are reading this blog, I’m sure you already know come from, as it is one of the first things you learn in class: I come from Scotland/Spain.

Read More 

ped-text verb

November 24, 2014
to text someone while walking I’m ped-texting, I’m looking down at my phone, 75 percent of the time.

Read More