From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishdutydu‧ty /ˈdjuːti $ ˈduː-/ ●●● S2 W1 noun (plural duties) 1 something you must do [countable, uncountable]SHOULD/OUGHT TO something that you have to do because it is morally or legally right syn obligation I promise I will do my duty. We feel it is our duty to help her. Local authorities have a duty to keep the streets clean. You have a duty to your husband and to your children. She has a strong sense of moral duty. The unions have failed in their duty to female workers. In the traditional Hindu family, the son is duty-bound to look after his mother.2 workJOB/TASK [countable usually plural, uncountable] something you have to do as part of your jobduties Martin’s duties included cleaning the cars. She works for her father doing part-time secretarial duties. He will soon be fit enough to carry out his duties
(=do his job). He can only do light duties. When Juliet reported for duty
(=arrived and said she was ready to start work) she was sent to check on a new patient. A teacher may be fired for neglect of duty
(=failing to do their job properly). He did three tours of duty in Vietnam (=three periods working in a foreign country as a soldier, government officer etc).3 → be on/off duty4 tax [countable, uncountable]PET a tax you pay on something you buyduty on the duty on cigarettescustoms duty (=tax paid on goods coming into the country) → death duties, stamp duty5 → do duty as something → double duty, heavy-duty, → jury duty at jury service, → on active duty at active serviceCOLLOCATIONS – Meaning 1: something that you have to do because it is morally or legally rightverbshave a duty to do somethingParents have a duty to make sure that their children receive an education.do your dutyI felt I had done my duty by voting.fulfil your duty British English, fulfill your duty American English formal (=do what is needed)The school has failed to fulfil its legal duty towards students.have/owe a duty to somebodyA tenant owes a duty to the landlord to keep the house in reasonable condition.fail in your duty (=not do something that you should do)I would be failing in my duty if I didn't warn you of the dangers.adjectivesa moral dutyShe felt it was her moral duty to treat everyone equally.a legal dutyEmployers have a legal duty to ensure the safety of their workforce.a statutory duty (=required by law)Local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure that parks are clean.a public duty (=relating to the people of a country)The media has a public duty to report the truth.a civic duty (=done because you live in a place)It is your civic duty to vote.phrasesa sense of dutyHe was caring for his parents out of a sense of duty rather than love.be duty-bound to do something formal (=have a duty to do something)Soldiers are here to do a job and are duty-bound to complete it. COLLOCATIONS – Meaning 2: something you have to do as part of your jobverbscarry out your duties (also perform/discharge your duties formal) (=do your job)She has always carried out her duties efficiently.take up your duties (=start doing a new job)Neale has agreed a three-year contract and takes up his duties on March 1.resume your duties (=start doing your job again)She hopes to be well enough to resume her duties next week.report for duty (=arrive and be ready to start work)You must report for duty at 8:30 tomorrow morning.neglect/shirk your duties (=not do your job properly)No soldier can be allowed to neglect his duties.ADJECTIVES/NOUN + duty official dutiesThe new president will take up his official duties next month.presidential/royal/ministerial etc duties (=duties that go with being a president, member of a royal family, a minister etc)The prince is now old enough to carry out royal duties.household/domestic duties (=jobs you have to do around the house)My husband and I share most of the household duties.light duties (=not involving hard physical work)He'd been wounded, sent home and put on light duties.guard duty (=job of guarding a place)There were two soldiers on guard duty outside the embassy.phrasesneglect of duty (=failing to do your job properly)Six police officers were fired for neglect of duty.a tour of duty (=period of working in another country as a soldier, government officer etc)He became a General, and his tours of duty included Korea and Vietnam.beyond the call of duty (=more than you have to do as part of your job)She's a doctor who has gone beyond the call of duty in her care for her patients.in the course of duty (=while doing your job, especially for your country)Stewart received a medal for outstanding bravery in the course of duty.
Examples from the Corpusduty• Teachers have a duty to ensure that students are not injured whilst they are in their care.• You have to pay a duty on the value of goods worth over $500 that you bring into the country.• For the most part, there was not much to do, other than cleanup duty around the prison camp.• The customs duty on luxury cars went up last month.• As he got nearer to No. 22 he decided that Mrs Brocklebank had been neglecting her duties here as well.• She didn't want to be the one to do that although she knew it was her duty.• However, unconsciously I must have been riddled with remorse for so neglecting my duties.• Conversely, those to whom citizens accord deference have been characterized by having an in-bred sense of duty.• He recently completed a tour of duty in Seoul as assistant to the US ambassador there.• Part of a park ranger's official duties is to ensure public safety.• He became a navy pilot, fought his way back on duty.• So David had been on duty this morning, had he?• This proves expensive for the police, who receive no subsidy from soccer sources for officers on duty outside the stadium.• And now I have a very pleasant duty to perform. I am going to present the prizes to the winning competitors.• Most of them mix their part time police duties with a full day's work.• clerical and secretarial duties• Your duties will also include answering the phone and typing letters.have a duty to• Under recently passed statutes, teachers now also have a duty to report child abuse and neglect.• Murphy said fund directors have a duty to maximize the retirement income of city employees.• I know now that I have a duty to look after myself, for no one else will bother.• I have a duty to point out where people go wrong.• I have a duty to support just governments in foreign countries, even though they have no legitimate power over me.• The court said that schools do not have a duty to supervise the grounds at all times.• Senior officials have a duty to protect junior officials and to set standards for those lower down.• So too do teachers have a duty to teach, and parents a duty to protect children from a debased cultural environment.tours of duty• Prior to Feakle, army battalions were able to spend only five months outside Northern Ireland between tours of duty.• The major had been there on two separate tours of duty.customs duty• While all customs duties accrued to the federal government, it received only about one-third of total sales tax revenue in 1985.• Their dispute there hinged on the right to collect customs duties, a matter left unclear in the Fontainebleau agreement.• Moving on, Doumer increased his revenues by funneling customs duties and direct taxes into his central treasury.• More dramatic still was the rise in customs duties.• It also announced that it was reducing customs duty on sales from such zones to the domestic market.• In particular, major tax breaks are planned, including removing customs duties on transport of works of art for exchange exhibitions.• Last month the customs duty was raised on luxury cars.• Mary restored the value of the customs duties.• At that time, all Andean Pact countries are expected to adopt zero customs duties on all imports from other members.