owe

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English owen, from Old English āgan, from Proto-West Germanic *aigan (to own), from Proto-Germanic *aiganą, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂eh₂óyḱe (to possess, own), reduplicated stative of *h₂eyḱ- (to own). See also own, ought.

Cognate with Sanskrit ईश्वर (īśvará, liable, exposed to).

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

owe (third-person singular simple present owes, present participle owing, simple past owed or (archaic) ought, past participle owed or (archaic) own)

  1. (ditransitive) To be under an obligation to give something back to someone or to perform some action for someone.
    I owe Kevin five bucks which he lent to me last week.
    This time I'll cover for you, but now you owe me a favour.
  2. (intransitive) To have debt; to be in debt.
  3. (transitive) To have as a cause; used with to.
    'The record owes its success to the outstanding guitar solos.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The original past tense form was ought, which during Middle English began to be used with indefinite signification and has become a distinct verb. The original past participle survives in the adjective own.

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Anagrams[edit]


Avava[edit]

Noun[edit]

owe

  1. water

Further reading[edit]

  • Terry Crowley et al, The Avava Language of Central Malakula (Vanuatu) (2006)

Middle English[edit]

Pronoun[edit]

owe

  1. Alternative form of yow

Polish[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Pronoun[edit]

owe

  1. nonvirile nominative/accusative/vocative plural of ów

Yoruba[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Folk etymology explains that it comes from ò- (nominalizing prefix) +‎ (to wrap, to twist), literally That which wraps something around something else (another meaning). Compare with possibly related terms, ìwé, ewé, fi wé, and àlọ́

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

òwe

  1. proverb, adage, saying