Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Idioms, Encyclopedia.


1. Something owed, such as money, goods, or services: used the proceeds to pay off her debts; a debt of gratitude.
2. An obligation or liability to pay or render something to someone else: students burdened with debt.
3. The condition of owing: a young family always in debt.
4. Financial instruments, such as bonds, mortgages, and loans, that represent a claim to payment and rights of creditorship: invested in government debt; a company issuing debt.
5. A moral or legal obligation to make reparations or undergo punishment for committing an offense: a criminal repaying his debt to society.

[Middle English dette, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *dēbita, pl. of Latin dēbitum, debt, neuter past participle of dēbēre, to owe; see ghabh- in Indo-European roots.]

debt′less adj.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
"We want a debtless municipal solution, as well as a decentralized one," added Richa, urging the government to choose an area in the eastern region, for example, transferring the waste to it immediately.
In their real life the explorers are clouds, bright shapes with something like thunder inside them, something electric, debtless. In their real life they offer nothing but rain.