duty


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Related to duty: customs duty, Duty cycle, Duty free

dereliction of duty

An intentional and egregious failure to perform one's required duty or uphold one's responsibility. The coach was fired for a dereliction of duty when he failed to report the incident.
See also: duty, of

do (one's) duty

1. To do, undertake, or accomplish that which is expected or required from one. I know it isn't easy facing off against the lowlifes of this town, but you're on the police force and you have to do your duty.
2. To urinate or defecate, especially a house pet. I hate standing out here in the cold, waiting for the dog to do his duty.
See also: duty

above and beyond the call of duty

More than what is expected of someone. Wow, I can't believe you finished our whole report while I was out sick. You really went above and beyond the call of duty on this one!
See also: above, and, beyond, call, duty, of

legal duty

Something that one must do, as required by law. It is the legal duty of homeowners in this community to maintain their property and not let it fall into disrepair.
See also: duty, legal

*above and beyond

(something) more than is required; greater than the required amount. (*Typically: be ~; go ~.) The English teacher helped students after school every day, even though it was beyond the call of duty.
See also: above, and, beyond

duty bound

(to do something) forced by a sense of duty and honor to do something. Good evening, madam. I'm duty bound to inform you that we have arrested your husband. No one made me say that. I was duty bound.
See also: bound, duty

go above and beyond one's duty

 and go above and beyond the call of duty
Fig. to exceed what is required of one. Doing what you ask goes above and beyond my duty. My job requires me to go above and beyond the call of duty almost every day.
See also: above, and, beyond, duty

in the line of duty

Fig. as part of one's expected duties. When soldiers fight people in a war, it's in the line of duty. Police officers have to do things they may not like in the line of duty.
See also: duty, line, of

off duty

not working at one's job. (The opposite of on duty.) I'm sorry, I can't talk to you until I'm off duty. The police officer couldn't help me because he was off duty.
See also: duty, off

on active duty

in battle or ready to go into battle. (Military.) The soldier was on active duty for ten months. That was a long time to be on active duty.
See also: active, duty, on

on duty

at work; currently doing one's work. (The opposite of off duty.) I can't help you now, but I'll be on duty in about an hour. Who is on duty here? I need some help.
See also: duty, on

relieve one of one's duties

Euph. to fire someone; to dismiss someone from employment. I am afraid I must relieve you of your duties. After the scandal, she was relieved of her duties at the embassy.
See also: duty, of, one, relieve

shirk one's duty

to neglect one's job or task. The guard was fired for shirking his duty. You cannot expect to continue shirking your duty without someone noticing.
See also: duty

above and beyond something

more than or in addition to something She has things she wants to accomplish above and beyond another championship. Our products are manufactured under the strictest guidelines, above and beyond what government regulations require.
Related vocabulary: (above and) beyond the call of duty
See also: above, and, beyond

(above and) beyond the call of duty

(spoken)
much more than should be expected If your waiter goes beyond the call of duty, leave a bigger tip.
Related vocabulary: above and beyond something
Etymology: first used about police officers, fire fighters, or soldiers who were injured or killed while doing their jobs
See also: beyond, call, duty, of

do double duty

1. to do two jobs at one time Kudrow does double duty in the show, playing her regular role and the character's twin sister.
2. to be used for two different activities Three conference rooms do double duty as dining rooms when the main dining room is full.
See also: double, duty

duty bound to do something

required to do something Investigators are duty bound to find out what happened and make a report.
See also: bound, duty

off duty

not working She goes off duty at midnight. The police officer was charged with robbing Castillo while he was off duty.
Usage notes: usually said about soldiers, police, medical workers, and people who work a scheduled period of time
See also: duty, off

on duty

working A physical therapist is on duty in the fitness center from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. He didn't have time to talk about it right then because he was on duty for another three hours.
Usage notes: usually said about soldiers, police, medical workers, and people who work a scheduled period of time
See also: duty, on

in the line of duty

while doing what was expected in a particular job A police officer was killed in the line of duty while chasing a suspect.
Usage notes: mostly used about police and others who do dangerous work
See also: duty, line, of

above and beyond something

more than The support given to us by the police was above and beyond what we could have expected. She doesn't receive any extra money, above and beyond what she's paid by the council. The number of hours she puts into her job is definitely above and beyond the call of duty. (= more than is expected of her)
See be above board
See also: above, and, beyond

be duty bound to do something

if you are duty bound to do something, you have to do it because it is your duty The government is duty bound to compensate those who lost money. I've been given a certain amount of training so I feel duty bound to stay in the job for at least a year.
See also: bound, duty

do (double) duty as/for something

  (American & Australian)
to also have another purpose They make an electronic identity card that will do duty for a credit card and pocket calculator. She's really the secretary but she does double duty as the receptionist during Katrina's lunch hour.
See also: duty

heavy-duty

  (American & Australian informal)
complicated and very serious (always before noun) Studies show that the homeless develop some heavy-duty health problems living on the streets.

in the line of duty

if you do something in the line of duty, or if something happens to you in the line of duty, you do it or it happens as a part of your job He was killed in the line of duty.
See also: duty, line, of

above and beyond

More than is required. This somewhat redundant expression- above and beyond here both denote excess-often precedes the call of duty, which means exceeding what a particular job requires. Thus Putting in overtime without pay is above and beyond the call of duty. Also see over and above.
See also: above, and, beyond

active duty

Full-time service, as in Julian is 81, but he still comes to the office every day and is very much on active duty . This term comes from the military, where it stands in opposition to reserve, which refers to troops still in the military but not actively engaged. It is occasionally transferred to civilian matters as well. [First half of 1800s]
See also: active, duty

beyond the call of duty

see under above and beyond.
See also: beyond, call, duty, of

call of duty

see under above and beyond.
See also: call, duty, of

do one's duty

1. Do one's tasks or what is expected of one. For example, He was only doing his duty when he made the children finish their work. [Early 1500s]
2. Defecate or urinate, as in Please keep the dog outdoors until he does his duty. This euphemism for attending to such needs is heard less often today. [1930s]
See also: duty

double duty

Fulfilling two functions at the same time, as in Our pickup truck does double duty, since it is used for the business and for family outings .
See also: double, duty

duty bound

Obliged, as in You're duty bound to help your little brother. [c. 1900]
See also: bound, duty

off duty

see under on duty.
See also: duty, off

on duty

At one's post, at work, as in The new nurse was on duty that evening, or The watchman was fired because he was drunk on duty. [Mid-1600s] The antonym, off duty, means "not engaged in one's work," as in Captain Smith was much more amiable when he was off duty. [Mid-1800s]
See also: duty, on

rack time

and rack duty
n. time spent in bed. (Military.) Gee, I need some more rack time. I was on rack duty for my entire leave.
See also: rack, time

rack duty

verb
See also: duty, rack

duty bound

Obliged: You are duty bound to help your little sister and brother.
See also: bound, duty

off duty

Not engaged in or responsible for assigned work.
See also: duty, off

on duty

Engaged in or responsible for assigned work.
See also: duty, on
References in classic literature ?
Nothing which you can ask me in the name of duty is too much.
A Christian gentlewoman's sense of duty knows no limits.
Do you really mean to tell me that you could trample your own convictions under foot, if it could be shown that the purely abstract consideration of duty was involved in the sacrifice?
Allow me to ask (after what I just heard)--whether it is not your duty to act on advice given for Blanche's benefit, by one the highest medical authorities in England?
I beg to relieve you, Lady Lundie--by means which you have just acknowledged it to be your duty to accept--of all further charge of an incorrigible girl.
And it's the first duty of a man to tell the truth, as he sees it and believes it.
You cannot ask for that proof, Miss Halcombe, and it is therefore my duty to you, and still more to Miss Fairlie, to offer it.
It is a duty we all owe to the poor creature herself to trace her," continued Sir Percival.
The Global Duty Free Retailing, 2014-2019 market research report provides analysis of current and forecast market data of retail sales in different category groups in the Duty Free retail channel across the globe.
The compensation has been enhanced in respect of superintendent, deputy superintendent and other examination staff who perform their duty during matric and intermediate examination.
The customs duty on platinum has been revised periodically in tandem with the duty on gold.
Flying from: Manchester, East Midlands and Bournemouth - check out Dixons, World Duty Free and Biza Tax & Duty Free.
Commenting on its sponsorship of the European race, Dubai Duty Free executive vice-chairman Colm McLoughlin said: "Our sponsorship of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby has been very successful since we began our support of the race in 2008 and not only does the sponsorship helps promote our own brand but that of Dubai itself.
In addition, half of the 23,000 unpaid AD/CV duty bills are less than $309, but the average duty bill is more than $26,000 due to a relatively small number of very large bills.
Duty of care, in the medical context, is often invoked as a sort of quasi-biblical commandment, akin to "do not lie" or "do not murder.