owes; owed; owing
owes; owed; owing
Learner's definition of OWE
1 : to need to pay or repay money to a person, bank, business, etc.
I still owe money on the car. [=I have not yet paid back all the money I borrowed to buy the car]
We owe no income tax.
He owes me $5.
Don't I owe money to you? = Don't I owe you money?
I owe the bank a lot of money.
Additional payments are owed on the mortgage.
How much is owed? = What is the amount owed?
How much do I owe (you) for this?
2 a : to need to do or give something to someone who has done something for you or given something to you
b — used to say that something should be done for or given to someone
I owe you a drink/favor.
I owe you my thanks.
(informal) What do you mean you won't help? You owe me!
She still owes me for all the times I've helped her out.
Thanks for your help. I owe you one. [=I will give you help when you need it]
You owe me an explanation.
I owe you an apology.
The senator is owed a degree of respect. [=the senator deserves some respect]
We owe it to the veterans to build a memorial. [=we should build a memorial to honor and thank the veterans]
You owe it to yourself to have fun. [=you deserve to let yourself have fun]
He owes it to himself to travel while he still can.
3 [+ object] — used to indicate the person or thing that made something possible — often + to
I owe my success to my teachers. [=my teachers deserve credit for my success]
She owes her success to hard work. [=she has succeeded because of hard work]
He owes his wealth to his father.
He owes his fame to several movies. [=he is famous because he was in several movies]
His success owes more to luck than skill. [=is more because of luck than skill]
I owe my life to the surgeon's skill. [=the surgeon's skill saved my life]
We owe our understanding of gravity to Newton.
owe a debt of gratitude/thanks to someone