Meaning of “owe” - Learner’s Dictionary


verb [ T ] us uk /əʊ/

B1 to have to pay money back to someone:

[ + two objects ] You still owe me money.
He owes a lot of money to the bank.

More examples

owe sb an apology/favour/drink, etc

B2 to have to give something to someone because they deserve it:

I think I owe you an apology.
Thanks, I owe you a drink for that.
owe your existence/success, etc to sb/sth

to have something or achieve something because of someone or something else:

The museum owes much of its success to the present generation of young British artists.

(Definition of “owe” from the Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)