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1. The state of being indebted.
2. Something owed to another.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. the state of being indebted
2. the total of a person's debts
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ɪnˈdɛt ɪd nɪs)

1. the state of being indebted.
2. something owed.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.



(See also POVERTY.)

in the hole In debt; in financial difficulties. The story behind this U.S. slang expression has to do with proprietors in gambling houses taking an amount of money out of the pots as a percentage due the “house.” When money must be paid up, one “goes to the hole” with a check. The “hole” is a slot cut in the middle of the poker table leading to a locked compartment below. All the checks “in the hole” become the property of the keeper of the place. The gamblers’ losses were the keeper’s gain. In the hole has been popular since the 1890s, although put [someone] in the hole ‘to swindle or defraud’ dates from the early 1800s.

How in the world did you manage to get in the hole for a sum like that? (P. G. Wodehouse, Uncle Fred in Springtime, 1939)

in the ketchup Operating at a deficit; in debt; failing to show a profit. Ketchup is a more graphic term than red but the meaning of in the ketchup is synonymous with in the red. The former, a slang expression of U.S. origin, dates from the mid-1900s.

Ridgway … has wound up in the ketchup trying to operate a gym. (Dan Parker, Daily Mirror, September 11, 1949)

in the red Operating at a deficit; in debt. This 20th-century colloquial Americanism is so called from the bookkeeping practice of entering debits in red ink. The opposite out of the red ‘out of debt’ (or in the black) is also current.

Rigid enforcement of economies in running expenses will lift the club’s balance sheet out of the red where it now is. (Mazama, June 1, 1948)


lose one’s shirt See FAILURE.

on the rocks Ruined, especially financially; hence, bankrupt, destitute. The concept, but no record of the actual phrase, dates from the days when a merchant’s wealth depended on the safety of ships at sea. Shipwreck—or going on the rocks—meant financial disaster. In Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, Salarino asks Antonio:

Should I … not bethink me
straight of dangerous rocks,
Which touching but my gentle vessel’s side
Would scatter all her spices on the stream,
Enrobe the roaring waters with my silks—
And, in a word, but even now worth this,
And now worth nothing? (I, i)

over one’s head See PREDICAMENT.

take a bath See FAILURE.

washed out See FAILURE.

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.indebtedness - an obligation to pay money to another party
limited liability - the liability of a firm's owners for no more than the capital they have invested in the firm
obligation - the state of being obligated to do or pay something; "he is under an obligation to finish the job"
debt - the state of owing something (especially money); "he is badly in debt"
arrears - the state of being behind in payments; "an account in arrears"
account payable, payable - a liability account showing how much is owed for goods and services purchased on credit; "the problem was to match receivables and payables in the same currency"
scot and lot - obligations of all kinds taken as a whole
2.indebtedness - a personal relation in which one is indebted for a service or favor
personal relation, personal relationship - a relation between persons
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. A condition of owing something to another:
2. Something, such as money, owed by one person to another:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
دَيْن، مَدْيونيَّه
òaî aî vera skuldugur


[ɪnˈdetɪdnɪs] N
1. (Fin) → endeudamiento m, deuda f (to con)
2. (fig) → deuda f (to con)
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ɪnˈdɛtɪdnɪs] n
(moral)dette f
(financial)dette f
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


n (fig)Verpflichtung f(to gegenüber); (Fin) → Verschuldung f; we can see his obvious indebtedness to Matissewir können sehen, dass er Matisse viel zu verdanken hat
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ɪnˈdɛtɪdnɪs] nl'essere in debito (Fin) → indebitamento
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(inˈdetid) adjective
(with to) having reason to be grateful to. I am indebted to you for your help.
inˈdebtedness noun
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
So I have used them whenever I could find an opportunity, and it is but just that I acknowledge my indebtedness to my little friends.
The word formerly signified not indebtedness, but possession; it meant "own," and in the minds of debtors there is still a good deal of confusion between assets and liabilities.
The last three sentences stung Tom into a fury, and he said to himself that if his father were only alive and in reach of assassination his mother would soon find that he had a very clear notion of the size of his indebtedness to that man, and was willing to pay it up in full, and would do it too, even at risk of his life; but he kept this thought to himself; that was safest in his mother's present state.
The railroads, controlling rates, and the bankers and stock exchange gamesters, controlling prices, had long since bled the farmers into indebtedness. The bankers, and all the trusts for that matter, had likewise long since loaned colossal amounts of money to the farmers.
Russell had taken many occasions to mention Melville's sea-tales, his interest in them, and his indebtedness to them.
He could not tell the history of the loan, but it was more vividly present with him than ever, as well as the fact which the Vicar delicately ignored--that this relation of personal indebtedness to Bulstrode was what he had once been most resolved to avoid.
Let me now acknowledge my indebtedness; and if promises be not vain from one whose life and liberty are in grave jeopardy, accept my assurance of the great reward that awaits you at the hand of my father in Helium."
She went to her state-room, and Harvey curled up beside his father, explaining his indebtedness.
He remembered that a cynical compatriot had once told him that American women--the pretty ones, and this gave a largeness to the axiom-- were at once the most exacting in the world and the least endowed with a sense of indebtedness.
(TAP) - In an international environment marked by a modest economic activity recovery and the effort made by the State to reduce its budget deficit, total indebtedness grew at a decelerated pace in 2018.
iPic Entertainment disclosed late Friday that as of July 25, it has approximately $204M of outstanding indebtedness under its credit facility with the Teachers' Retirement System of Alabama and The Employees' Retirement System of Alabama.