owe Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “owe” in the English Dictionary

"owe" in British English

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oweverb [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 $50. 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

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

(Definition of owe from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"owe" in American English

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oweverb

us   //
  • owe verb (HAVE A DEBT)

[I/T] to have the responsibility to pay or give back something you have received from someone: [T] Don’t forget – you owe me ten dollars.
  • owe verb (BE GRATEFUL)

[T] to be grateful to someone or something because of what the person or thing provided or made possible: I owe a lot to my parents, who have always supported and encouraged me.
(Definition of owe from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"owe" in Business English

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oweverb [T]

uk   /əʊ/ us  
FINANCE, COMMERCE to need to pay or give something to someone because they have lent money to you: owe sb $5/$500, etc. I owe you £200. How much do we owe the bank? He claims the firm owes him money.owe $5/$500, etc. to sb The company owes $618 million to its creditors.owe $100/$1000, etc. on sth We still owe $1000 on our car.owe $100/$1000, etc. in sth The government alleges that he owes $54 million in unpaid taxes.
to have had someone help you or do something good for you, so that you should do something similar for them: He owes you a favor for helping him with the project.owe sb (one) Thanks - I owe you one!
(Definition of owe from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Translations of “owe”
in Korean 빚지다…
in Arabic يَدين لـِ…
in Malaysian berhutang…
in French devoir…
in Russian быть должным, задолжать…
in Chinese (Traditional) 負債, 欠(債), 欠(帳)…
in Italian dovere…
in Turkish borçlu olmak, borcu olmak…
in Polish być winnym…
in Spanish deber…
in Vietnamese nợ…
in Portuguese dever…
in Thai เป็นหนี้…
in German schulden…
in Catalan deure…
in Japanese (人)に借金がある…
in Chinese (Simplified) 负债, 欠(债), 欠(账)…
in Indonesian meminjam, berhutang…
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“owe” in British English

“owe” in American English

“owe” in Business English

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Avoiding common errors with the word enough.
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