on duty(redirected from on-duty)
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Officially in the capacity of working during one's normal working day or assigned hours. Typically used of doctors, nurses, and police officers. Often hyphenated. I'd love to sit down with you for a drink, but as you can see by the uniform I'm wearing, I'm actually on duty right now. Even though several on-duty police officers were on the scene, no one noticed the burglar stealing the painting.
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.
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]
on/off ˈduty(of nurses, police officers, etc.) working/not working at a particular time: Who’s on duty today? ♢ What time do you go off duty?
Engaged in or responsible for assigned work.