Verb > Owe

Verb > Owe

1 : to need to pay or repay money to a person, bank, business, etc.

(+ object)

I still owe money on the car. (=I have not yet paid back all the money I borrowed to buy the car)

We owe no income tax.

He owes me $5.

(no object)

I still owe on the car.

2 (+ object)

a : to need to do or give something to someone who has done something for you or given something to you

I owe you a drink/favor.

I owe you my thanks.

(informal) What do you mean you won’t help? You owe me!

b : used to say that something should be done for or given to someone

You owe me an explanation.

I owe you an apology.

The senator is owed a degree of respect. (=the senator deserves some respect)

3 (+ object) : used to indicate the person or thing that made something possible

She owes her family for her success. (=her family enabled her to become successful)

– often + to

I owe my success to my teachers. (=my teachers deserve credit for my success)

She owes her success to hard work. (=she has succeeded because of hard work)

He owes his wealth to his father.

owe a debt of gratitude/thanks to someone