Middle English Dictionary Entry

dette n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

Note: Cp. duete.
(a) Whatever one owes another in goods, money, tribute, rent, dues, or the like; a debt; paien (quiten, yelden) ~, to pay a debt; borwen ~, incur a debt; axen ~, demand payment of a debt; (b) the state of one who has debts, indebtedness; ben in ~, to be in debt; ben out of ~, have no debts.
Law accioun (ple, pledinge) of ~, a suit to recover what is owed.
(a) A moral, religious, or social obligation; an act conforming to such an obligation; don (paien, yelden) ~, to do (one's) duty; withholden ~, fail to do (one's) duty; bihest is ~, a promise is binding; (b) whatever is due (to sb.).
(a) ben in ~, to be obliged (to do sth.), be in duty bound; (b) to be indebted (to sb.), owe thanks.
(a) after ~, as ~, according to justice or nature; (b) bi ~, thurgh ~, as an obligation or duty; (c) of ~, with ~, as a matter of duty or justice; duly, in justice; also, ?in gratitude [quot. Gower 6.1502]; (d) withouten ~, without being in duty bound.
Theol. (a) A debt incurred through sinful behavior, guilt, sinfulness; (b) that which spouses owe to each other, sexual intercourse; ~ of matrimoni, ~ of the bodi; (c) that which man owes to his nature, death; dethes ~; paien ~ onto nature, to die.
The state of owing retaliation for injury.
det-bunden, in duty bound.