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), derived from dē- + habeō (to have) (and thus equivalent to de- + avoir).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

devoir m (plural devoirs)

  1. duty
    Il est de mon devoir de protéger le roi.It is my duty to protect the king.
    manquer à son devoir, manquer à tous ses devoirsto fail in one's duty, duties
  2. exercise, assignment (set for homework)

Derived terms[edit]

Verb[edit]

devoir

  1. must, to have to, should (as a requirement)
    • 2014, Jean-Claude Bernardon, Résolution de conflits
      Votre langage doit vous permettre de maintenir une bonne distance de sécurité, être un peu plus poli et détaché que nécessaire est un avantage.
      Your language should permit you to keep a fairly secure distance, [as] being slightly more formal and detached than necessary is an advantage.
    Les auteurs d'un dictionnaire doivent déterminer au départ les catégories de mots à retenir, en fonction des limites imposées par l'éditeur et du public visé.
    The authors of a dictionary have to determine from the outset which categories of words to retain, as a function of the limits imposed by the editor, and the target audience.
  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.
  • When this verb is negative, it means "must not".
    Je dois y aller.
    I must go./I have to go.
    Je ne dois pas y aller.
    I must not go.

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