devoir

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English devoir, borrowed from Middle French devoir, from Old French deveir, from Latin dēbēre (to owe; ought, must).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /dəˈvwɑː/
    • (file)
  • Hyphenation: de‧voir

Noun[edit]

devoir (plural devoirs)

  1. (archaic, often in plural) Duty, business; something that one must do.

Anagrams[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle French debvoir, from Old French deveir, from Latin dēbēre, present active infinitive of dēbeō (to owe; ought, must).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

devoir m (plural devoirs)

  1. duty
  2. exercise, assignment (set for homework)

Derived terms[edit]

Verb[edit]

devoir

  1. must, to have to, should (as a requirement)
  2. must, to do or have with certainty
  3. (transitive) to owe (money, obligation and etc)
  4. (literary, intransitive, in imperfect subjunctive, with inversion of subject) (even) though it be necessary (+ infinitive)
    • 1842, George Sand, Consuelo:
      Eh bien, se dit-elle, j'irai, dussé-je affronter les dangers réels [...]. ⇒ Well, she said to herself, I'll go, even if I have to face real danger.
  5. (reflexive, ~ de) to have a duty to
    • 1791, Louis XVI, “Message du roi, à l'Assemblée nationale, le 13 septembre 1791 [Message of the King to the National Assembly on 13 September 1791]”, in Constitution française, présentée au roi par l'Assemblée nationale, le 3 septembre 1791 [French constitution, presented to the King by the National Assembly on 3 September 1791], Dijon: Imprimerie de P. Causse, page 75:
      Aujourd'hui je dois aux intérêts de la nation, je me dois à moi-même de faire connoître mes motifs.
      Today, I owe to the interests of the nation, [so] I owe it to myself to make my motives known.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The past participle drops the circumflex accent in its other forms: feminine singular due; masculine plural dus; feminine plural dues.

Conjugation[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]


Middle English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Middle French devoir, from Old French deveir, from Latin dēbēre (to owe, to be duty bound to do something).

Noun[edit]

devoir (plural devoirs)

  1. devoir
    • 1479, William Caxton, De Consolatione Philosophiæ, translated into English by Geoffrey Chaucer:
      I William Caxton have done my devoir to enprint it

Old French[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From earlier deveir, from Latin dēbēre, present active infinitive of dēbeō.

Verb[edit]

devoir

  1. (modal) to have to; must
  2. to owe

Conjugation[edit]

This verb conjugates as a third-group verb. This verb has a stressed present stem doiv distinct from the unstressed stem dev, as well as other irregularities. Old French conjugation varies significantly by date and by region. The following conjugation should be treated as a guide.

  • The trema on the u of the past participle deü is not used by all authors.
  • The feminine forms of the past participle are more commonly spelled due and dues, though deue and deues are attested.

Noun[edit]

devoir m (oblique plural devoirs, nominative singular devoirs, nominative plural devoir)

  1. debt

Descendants[edit]

  • Middle English: devoir, dewe, dew, due (from past participle deu, deü)
  • Middle French: debvoir

References[edit]

  • Godefroy, Frédéric, Dictionnaire de l'ancienne langue française et de tous ses dialectes du IXe au XVe siècle (1881) (devoir)
  • “Appendix E: Irregular Verbs” in E. Einhorn (1974), Old French: A Concise Handbook, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, →ISBN, pages 152–153