Owe Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Owe, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Owe?

a legal duty or liability to pay money or services to someone else.The amount payable is not liable to be paid before its due date.

History and Meaning of Owe

The term "owe" has its origins in Old English, and has remained unchanged in meaning since then. To owe someone something means to have a legal obligation to pay that person a debt, whether it's money or services. What sets apart an obligation from ordinary debt is that it is legally enforceable through a court.

Examples of Owe

  1. If you borrowed money from a bank, you owe the bank a debt that you must repay according to the agreed-upon terms.
  2. If you hired a contractor to perform repairs on your house, you owe the contractor payment for their services.
  3. If you promised to repay a friend for a loan, you owe them the money you borrowed.
  4. If a family member gave you a gift with the understanding that you would pay them back later, you owe them payment for the gift.
  5. If you received a bill for medical services, you owe the provider payment for their services.

Legal Terms Similar to Owe

  1. Debt - an amount of money that is owed or due
  2. Liability - the state of being responsible for something, especially by law
  3. Obligation - an act of committing oneself to a course of action, often associated with a legal requirement to fulfill a duty.