- noun an amount of money borrowed by a company to finance its activities
- noun an amount of money owed by an individual
- (written as Debt)A 's debt is money (or something else in kind) owed by A to B. It is a liability. For B it is an asset.
- noun an amount of money, a service or an item of property that is owed to someone
Origin & History of “debt”
Debt originated as dēbita, the plural of Latin dēbitum ‘that which is owed’, a noun formed from the past participle of the verb dēbēre ‘owe’. In vulgar Latin, dēbita was evidently viewed as a feminine singular noun, and it passed thus into Old French as dette, the form in which English originally acquired the word. From the 13th to the 16th centuries the French spelling was latinized as debte, a reform which English adopted in the 16th century. In the 15th century English independently borrowed Latin dēbitum as debit. (Latin dēbēre ‘owe’, source also of English debenture, due, and duty, was originally a compound verb formed from the prefix dē- ‘away’ and habēre ‘have’, literally ‘have away’, that is, ‘keep in one’s possession what belongs to someone else’.).