Definition Owe

English vocabulary and translations (See all our English vocabulary translation)

Want to improve your English? Try our online English lessons for free.


to owe (sthg) (to sbdy): to be in debt (to sbdy)
The verb "to owe" is directly followed by an object (or a sum), without a preposition:

Susie owes Philip 50 dollars. She borrowed the money last week and she still hasn't returned it.
This company owes its success to Bruno Delavigne's talent. Bruno's talent is the main reason for the company's success.
I owe her my life. If she hadn't saved me I wouldn't be alive today.
You owe it to yourself to test drive a few cars before buying one. You know it's the sensible thing to do as you deserve a car that works well.

owing (to the crisis...): due to, because of, as a result of (the crisis)
How much is owed to you? How much money do they have to pay you?
Owing to their lack of customers, the store went out of business. It was due to not having any clients that the business had to close.

I owe you one!: Thanks for your help, I'll do the same for you one day!
Pronunciation examples
UK: Susie owes Philip 50 euros.
US: This company owes its success to Bruno Delavigne's talent.


  • "Accounts Receivable are letters from people who owe us money – they might include checks, or requests to have payments deferred."
  • "I owe a lot of the success of my department stores to him and his perfumes."
  • "Bruno, I owe all my success to you."
  • "I remind you that your company, Soppy Soaps, owes The Delavigne Corporation a total of $178,921 for this order."
  • "Taxi Driver : This is not at all my problem. You owe me thirty dollars for the ride, and shut the door on your way out."
  • "I remind you that the total balance owed by Cosmex Inc. to Delavigne Corporation amounts to one thousand, two hundred and thirteen dollars and eighty cents ($1213.80)."
  • "This letter should detail all prior communication that you've had with the client, the outstanding invoices, and the total amount owed to your company."
  • "Negative equity is when you owe your bank more than your house is worth."
  • "As I've been reminding you almost every day recently, your client Cosmex Inc. owes us a lot of money, and you know what they say: Money makes the world go round!"
  • "Thanks a million Icarus, I really owe you one."

Still having difficulties with 'Owe'? Want to improve your English? Try our online English lessons and receive a free level assessment.

Do you have smart way of remembering 'Owe'? Share it with us!