owe a debt of gratitude

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owe someone a debt of gratitude

a large amount of thanks owed to someone who deserves gratitude. (Actually payment of the debt is owed.) We owe you a debt of gratitude for all you have done for us.
See also: debt, of, owe
References in classic literature ?
I could not rest as long as one solitary camel remained to the dervish; and returning to him I redoubled my prayers and embraces, and promises of eternal gratitude, till the last twenty were in my hands.
Maximilian -- Emmanuel -- if we do but discover him, he must believe in the gratitude of the heart
I could have kissed their rough, cold iron palms in gratitude if they had not been buried in slimy mud under ten fathoms of water.
Impossible to answer his blunt question in the affirmative, so I disclaimed all tendency to gratitude, and advised him if he expected any reward for his championship, to look for it in a better world, as he was not likely to meet with it here.
Gratitude so pushed to its extremest limit, that we do not know to what to compare it.
If you had any sense of decency, if you had any gratitude, you wouldn't dream of going.
He was pleased at the gratitude he received, but felt abashed at receiving it.
The right thing to do, and the thing I'd do right now did I know where he is, would be to drop in on occasion and spend a few dollars across his bar for old sake's sake and gratitude.
As I feel that the opportunities which I enjoyed of studying the Natural History of the different countries we visited, have been wholly due to Captain Fitz Roy, I hope I may here be permitted to repeat my expression of gratitude to him; and to add that, during the five years we were together, I received from him the most cordial friendship and steady assistance.
But here, whilst my gratitude for the princely benefactions of the Duke of Bedford bursts from my heart, you must forgive my reminding you that it was you who first recommended me to the notice of my benefactor.
Pardon, therefore, what I have said in this epistle, not only without your consent, but absolutely against it; and give me at least leave, in this public manner, to declare that I am, with the highest respect and gratitude,--
The ruling idea of his life appeared to be, that he was bound to show his gratitude to the country which had afforded him an asylum and a means of subsistence by doing his utmost to turn himself into an Englishman.
He overwhelmed me with the wildest expressions of affection--exclaimed passionately, in his exaggerated Italian way, that he would hold his life henceforth at my disposal--and declared that he should never be happy again until he had found an opportunity of proving his gratitude by rendering me some service which I might remember, on my side, to the end of my days.
PUBLIC GRATITUDE REFERS to the gratitude that the nation owes to individuals, groups, and, by extension, institutions, for gifts that have redounded to the public benefit.
Finally her mother takes her on a trip to donate the shoes to another little girl whose reaction to the rubber shoes is very different, leading to an epiphany of gratitude for our charming heroine.