owe

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Related to owes: Lowes

owe it to (someone/oneself) to do something

To have an obligation or duty to do something for the sake of someone or oneself. We owe it to our parents to look after them as they get older. You need to stop worrying about work; you owe it to yourself to enjoy the weekends with your family.
See also: owe, something

pound of flesh

A debt or punishment, especially one that is cruel or unreasonable, that is harshly insisted upon. An allusion to Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, in which the moneylender Shylock demands he be paid the pound of fleshed promised as collateral for a loan. The victim of the incident, while only sustaining superficial injuries, is demanding his pound of flesh from the night club owner following the court ruling. Be very careful about taking out loans that you can't repay right away, or you will have loan sharks coming after you for a pound of flesh.
See also: flesh, of, pound

I owe you one.

Inf. Thank you, now I owe you a favor.; I owe you something similar in return. Bob: I put the extra copy of the book on your desk. Sue: Thanks, I owe you one. Bill: Let me pay for your drink. Bob: Thanks a lot, I owe you one.
See also: one, owe

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

owe something (to someone) (for something)

to be under obligation to pay or repay someone for something. I owe forty dollars to Ann for the dinner. I owe money for the gift to Ann. I still owe money for the gift. Do you still owe money to Ann?

*pound of flesh

Fig. a payment or punishment that involves suffering and sacrifice on the part of the person being punished. (*Typically: give someone ~; owe someone ~; pay someone ~; take ~.) He wants revenge. He won't be satisfied until he takes his pound of flesh.
See also: flesh, of, pound

pound of flesh

A debt whose payment is harshly insisted on, as in The other members of the cartel all want their pound of flesh from Brazil. This expression alludes to the scene in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice (4:1) where the moneylender Shylock demands the pound of flesh promised him in payment for a loan, and Portia responds that he may have it but without an ounce of blood (since blood was not promised). [c. 1600]
See also: flesh, of, pound

think something/someone owes you a living

If someone thinks someone or something owes them a living, they think that person or thing should give them the money they need to live. Nobody owes you a living — you need to work hard for yourself. He was given everything, and grew up thinking the world owes him a living.
See also: living, owe, something, think

owe someone one

INFORMAL
If you owe someone one, you feel very grateful to them for something they have done for you. `I've got the engine going again.' `Thanks, mate — I owe you one!'
See also: one, owe

owe someone one

feel indebted to someone. informal
1990 Paul Auster The Music of Chance ‘I guess I owe you one,’ Floyd said, patting Nashe's back in an awkward show of gratitude.
See also: one, owe

someone or something owes you a living

used to express disapproval of someone who expects to receive financial support or other benefits without doing any work.
See also: living, owe, something

(think) the world ˌowes you a ˈliving

(disapproving) (think that) society is responsible for doing everything for you and you should not have to make any effort yourself: Why don’t you go out and get a job? The world doesn’t owe you a living, you know.
See also: living, owe, world

owe to

v.
1. To be in debt by some amount to someone: I owe $100 to my brother.
2. To have something because of something or someone else: The family owed its wealth to oil. I owe my rosy complexion to my mother.
See also: owe
References in classic literature ?
And are enemies also to receive what we owe to them?
Honestly, without speaking of what I owe you, I feel friendship for you.
But my father has this very sum, five thousand pounds, and, as I tell him, I owe him so much that I have no compunction about owing him more.
I still owe him that dollar and seventy cents, and if he should chance to read these lines I want him to know that I'll pay on demand.
Mr Wititterly, it should be observed, was accustomed to owe small accounts, and to leave them owing.
I mean no more than that I partly owe to you my existence during great part of the time which I have employed in composing it: another matter which it may be necessary to remind you of; since there are certain actions of which you are apt to be extremely forgetful; but of these I hope I shall always have a better memory than yourself.
I tell you you owe me half of this, because I have no sixpence in my pocket.
Besides that I owe him a grudge on that account, he thwarts me at this minute, and stands between me and an end which might otherwise prove a golden one to us all.
By comparing what a country owes to what it produces, the debt-to-GDP ratio indicates a country's ability to pay back its debt.
Highest Breaks: Owes to Scr, G Ineson 63; Rec 1 to Rec 13, J McSheffrey 27; Rec 14 to Rec 28, G Siswick; Rec 29 to Rec 42, G Schofield 21.
Swiftsure owes Gordon Ramsay PS347, believed to be appearance money.
WE SPOKE TO THE BUSINESSES THAT ARE LISTED AS NOT HAVING PAID THEIR FINES YET | Eight til Late in Ferndale, |Rhondda, owes PS5,000.
THE average Briton now owes more than pounds 42,000 through mortgages, credit cards, loans and other forms of debt, research showed today.
Some leading members of the education community said Tuesday that they are glad to see the increase but believe the governor owes schools about $5.