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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Owe \Owe\ ([=o]), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Owed ([=o]d), ( Ought ([add]t) obs.); p. pr. & vb. n. Owing ([=o]"[i^]ng).] [OE. owen, awen, aghen, to have, own, have (to do), hence, owe, AS. [=a]gan to have; akin to G. eigen, a., own, Icel. eiga to have, Dan. eie, Sw. ["a]ga, Goth. ['a]igan, Skr. [imac][,c].

  1. To possess; to have, as the rightful owner; to own. [Obs.]

    Thou dost here usurp The name thou ow'st not.

  2. To have or possess, as something derived or bestowed; to be obliged to ascribe (something to some source); to be indebted or obliged for; as, he owed his wealth to his father; he owed his victory to his lieutenants.

    O deem thy fall not owed to man's decree.

  3. Hence: To have or be under an obigation to restore, pay, or render (something) in return or compensation for something received; to be indebted in the sum of; as, the subject owes allegiance; the fortunate owe assistance to the unfortunate.

    The one ought five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
    --Bible (1551).

    A son owes help and honor to his father.

    Note: Owe was sometimes followed by an objective clause introduced by the infinitive. ``Ye owen to incline and bow your heart.''

  4. To have an obligation to (some one) on account of something done or received; to be indebted to; as, to owe the grocer for supplies, or a laborer for services.

  1. That owes. v

  2. (en-past of: owe)

  1. adj. owed and payable immediately or on demand; "payment is due" [syn: due] [ant: undue]

  2. owed as a debt; "outstanding bills"; "the amount still owed"; "undischarged debts" [syn: outstanding, owing(p), undischarged]

Usage examples of "owed".

Little niggles and twinges from her conscience told her that she still owed something to Central Worlds.

In either case, an apology is owed these fine people," and he gestured to the colonists, "for the discourtesies, inconveniences and insults they have suffered.

In a way he owed that to the Decision at Doona, which had brought him to the notice of his superiors.

Many of the others shouted Koberly down, but a few agreed pugnaciously that Wynline owed them an apology.

She owed her life to the sessile Ssli communications officer on her first tour of duty when Hssrho had located her in deep space after she'd had a ‘misadventure’ in an evac pod.

Then, conscious of the fact that he Owed Kenny, he said the magic words.

Someone owed someone else a favor—or else someone wanted something else kept quiet, and this was the price.

Now she was calling in favors owed her in Courier Service, and making her sister feel guilty, so that she could interfere in what should have been left to the normal channels of PTA administration.

Since I didn't get what I asked for last time, I figure I'm still owed a few favors—"

It was stupid of her to get involved again when she had so nearly cut the traces, but she owed the Melange some measure of gratitude, too.

It had meant cancelling half the favors he was owed but, just let him get his hands on that little riot controller and .

Considering how much he owed her, and the Parapsychic Centers, he was willing to spend his whole life trying.

He did not even know if Dorotea, to whom he owed so much, was having a stroke.

Then he remembered that she was also Petra's mount and he owed the Iota Lyons.

Was it the ineptitude of one of those clods to which she owed the flaw in her voice?