owe

owe
owe (v.) O.E. agan (past tense ahte) "to have, own," from P.Gmc. *aiganan "to possess" (Cf. O.Fris. aga, O.N. eiga, O.H.G. eigan, Goth. aigan "to possess, have"), from PIE *aik- "to be master of, possess" (Cf. Skt. ise "he owns," isah "owner, lord, ruler;" Avestan is- "riches," isvan- "well-off, rich").
Sense of "to have to repay" began in late Old English with the phrase agan to geldanne lit. "to own to yield," which was used to translate L. debere (earlier in Old English this would have been sceal "shall"); by late 12c. the phrase had been shortened to simply agan, and OWN (Cf. own) (v.) took over this word's original sense.
An original Germanic preterite-present verb (Cf. CAN (Cf. can), DARE (Cf. dare), MAY (Cf. may), etc.). New past tense form owed arose 15c. to replace oughte, which developed into OUGHT (Cf. ought) (1).

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • owe — W3S2 [əu US ou] v [T] ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(money)¦ 2¦(something done/given)¦ 3 owe somebody an explanation/apology 4¦(help to achieve something)¦ 5¦(good effect)¦ 6 owe it to somebody to do something 7 owe it to yourself to do something 8 owe… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • owe — [ əu ] verb transitive *** 1. ) if you owe someone money, you have to give them a particular amount of money because you have bought something from them or borrowed money from them. Money that you owe is called a debt: Tell me how much I owe, and …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • owe — [əʊ ǁ oʊ] verb [transitive] FINANCE to have not yet paid someone money you should pay them, or to have not yet paid back money you borrowed: • She owes taxes for the past three years. owe somebody something (for something) • He owes the company… …   Financial and business terms

  • Owe — ([=o]), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Owed} ([=o]d), ({Ought} ([add]t) obs.); p. pr. & vb. n. {Owing} ([=o] [i^]ng).] [OE. owen, awen, aghen, to have, own, have (to do), hence, owe, AS. [=a]gan to have; akin to G. eigen, a., own, Icel. eiga to have, Dan.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Owe — is a surname or given name, a spelling variation of Ove, and may refer to: Baard Owe (born 1936), Norwegian born actor Owe Hellberg (born 1953), Swedish Left Party politician Owe Jonsson (1940 1962), Swedish athlete Owe Wiktorin (born 1940),… …   Wikipedia

  • owe — I verb be beholden, be bound, be due, be in debt, be indebted, be liable, be obligated, be under obligation, contract a debt, debere, have a loan, have an obligation, incur a debt associated concepts: debt owed, debtor creditor laws, legally owed …   Law dictionary

  • owe — ► VERB 1) be required to pay (money or goods) to (someone) in return for something received. 2) be morally obliged to show (gratitude, respect, etc.) or to offer (an explanation) to (someone). 3) (owe something to) have something because of. 4)… …   English terms dictionary

  • owe — owe·nia; owe; …   English syllables

  • owe — [ō] vt. owed, owing [ME owen < OE agan, to own, possess, have, akin to Goth aigan, OHG eigan < IE base * ēik , to have as one s own, be capable (of) > Sans * īśē, (he) possesses] 1. to have an obligation to pay; be indebted to the amount …   English World dictionary

  • owe — [v] have an obligation be beholden, be bound, be contracted, behind, be in arrears, be in debt, be indebted, be into one for, be obligated, be under obligation, feel bound, get on credit, have borrowed, incur, in hock*, lost, on the tab*, ought… …   New thesaurus

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