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From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishoweowe /əʊ $ / ●●● S2 W3 verb [transitive] 🔊 🔊 1 moneyOWE to need to pay someone for something that they have done for you or sold to you, or to need to give someone back money that they have lent youborrow, lendowe somebody money/£10 etc 🔊 I owe my brother $50.owe somebody for something 🔊 I still owe you for the taxi. 🔊 How much do I owe you (=often used to show that you want to pay for something)?owe something to somebody 🔊 the money owed to credit card companies2 something done/givenSHOULD/OUGHT TO to feel that you should do something for someone or give someone something, because they have done something for you or given something to you 🔊 He asked for help from a colleague who owed him a favour.owe somebody a drink/letter etc 🔊 I owe Shaun a letter; I must write soon. 🔊 Thanks a lot for being so understanding about all this – I owe you one (=used to thank someone who has helped you, and to say that you are willing to help them in the future)!owe somebody (=be in a position in which someone has helped you, so that you should help them) 🔊 Let’s go and see Joe – he owes me!3 owe somebody an explanation/apology4 help to achieve something a) BECAUSEto have something or achieve something because of what someone else has doneowe something to somebody 🔊 He probably owes his life to her prompt action. b) IMPORTANTto know that someone’s help has been important to you in achieving somethingowe somebody a lot/owe somebody a great deal 🔊 ‘I owe my parents a lot, ’ he admitted. 🔊 He owes a great deal to his publishers.owe it all to somebody/owe everything to somebody 🔊 I owe it all to you.owe somebody a debt (of gratitude) 🔊 the debt that we owe to our teachers5 good effectBECAUSE to be successful because of the good effect or influence of something or someoneowe to 🔊 Their success owes more to good luck than to careful management. 🔊 Pearson’s work owed much to the research of his friend, Hugh Kingsmill.6 owe it to somebody to do something7 owe it to yourself to do something8 owe loyalty/allegiance etc to somebody9 think that the world owes you a livingTHESAURUSowe to need to pay someone for something they have sold to you or because they have lent you money – used especially when talking about particular amounts of moneyYou owe me $50. The football club still owes £2.3 million.be in debt to owe money, especially to several different companies – used when talking about a person’s financial situationShe hates being in debt.We started getting deeper and deeper into debt.be overdrawn to owe an amount of money to your bank because you have taken more money out of an account than you have put inHe received a letter saying he was overdrawn.The bank charged me even though I was only a few pence overdrawn.have an overdraft to be overdrawn, with the agreement of your bankWhen I finished college I had a big overdraft.be in the red informal to have spent more money than you haveThe firm is £190,000,000 in the red.→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpus
oweHow much do you owe?The business collapsed, owing $50 million.We all owe a debt of gratitude to Mrs Stevenson, who kindly donated the money for the project.I owe a great deal to my publishers, who helped me to finish writing the book.We owe a lot of money to the bank.But to that doctor I owe a portion of my sanity.Perhaps, to some extent, she thought with wry amusement, she owed her professional success to Jake.South Florida owes him the respect one gives to a stern high school teacher.Forget what he owes his readers.But they owe, if anything, even more to Essene tradition.I owe it all to you. You were the only one who believed in me.I owe it to Carrie and Mikey.You still owe me $5.You're going to owe me if I let you use my car.His job was to phone people who owed money and demand immediate payment.The phenomenal success of his efforts owed much to his supreme mathematical skills and to his equally superb physical insights.I owe my parents a lot for everything they've done for me."I owe my parents a lot, " he admitted. "They worked real hard to put me through college."Ivan Capelli drove for the March team for five seasons, but says he's still owed the money in unpaid wages.How much do we owe you for the milk?owe something to somebodyAt that time Uganda owed billions of dollars to the World Bank.I owe you oneAfter last year, I think I owe them one.owe somebody a debt (of gratitude)Eliot at once sent him a cablegram, saying that he was one to whom all contemporary poets owed a debt.I believed I owed him some debt.Joseph Harker To whom do we owe the national debt?I never saw them again and yet I owe them a debt, a gratitude.The arguments are moral: the rich countries owe a debt for the ravaged resources of the Third World.Each of the Padres' two franchise postseason appearances has owed a debt to free-agent acquisitions.It could be that Mr Major owes a debt to the pollsters for his victory.There are even photographs of writers who owe a debt to Twain, in case you miss the point.owed much toThe functionalist design owed much to Emberton's assistant George Fairweather.London Assurance owed much to his ability to hammer a text into presentable shape.Between the world wars major unions suffered the searing experience of high unemployment which owed much to incompetent employers and benighted policy-makers.The hat-trick was completed on 22 minutes and owed much to some great work by David Beckham.The strict interpretation of statute, an important feature of the sixteenth century, owed much to the invention of printing.Military organization, too, owed much to the whim of the Tsar.The moribund, quasi-clerical state of the universities owed much to this fact.
From Longman Business Dictionaryoweowe /əʊoʊ/ verb [transitive]FINANCE to have not yet paid someone money you should pay them, or to have not yet paid back money you borrowedShe owes taxes for the past three years.owe somebody something (for something)He owes the company $2000 for components it supplied.owe somebody for somethingWe still owe the builder for the work on the roof.→ See Verb table
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Verb table
Simple Form
I, you, we, theyowe
he, she, itowes
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I, you, he, she, it, we, theyowed
Present perfect
I, you, we, theyhave owed
he, she, ithas owed
Past perfect
I, you, he, she, it, we, theyhad owed
I, you, he, she, it, we, theywill owe
Future perfect
I, you, he, she, it, we, theywill have owed
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