owe Definition

  • 1have an obligation to pay or repay (something, especially money) in return for something received
  • 2be under a moral obligation to give someone something

Using owe: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "owe" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    I owe you $20 for the dinner last night.

  • Example

    I owe my success to my parents' support.

  • Example

    I owe it to myself to take a break and relax.

  • Example

    I owe him an apology for my behavior.

owe Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for owe

  • be indebted to
  • be in debt to
  • be obligated to
  • be beholden to
  • be bound to

Antonyms for owe

Phrases with owe

  • be very grateful to someone


    I owe a debt of gratitude to my mentor for guiding me through my career.

  • have a responsibility to do something for someone


    I owe it to my team to work hard and deliver results.

  • be indebted to someone for a favor or kindness


    Thanks for helping me move. I owe you one.

Origins of owe

from Old English 'ฤgan', meaning 'to own'


Summary: owe in Brief

The verb 'owe' [oสŠ] means to have an obligation to pay or repay something, often money, in return for something received. It can also mean being morally obligated to give someone something. Examples include 'I owe you $20 for the dinner last night' and 'I owe my success to my parents' support.' Phrases like 'owe a debt of gratitude' and 'owe it to someone' express gratitude and responsibility, respectively.

How do native speakers use this expression?