from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun An act or a course of action that is required of one by position, social custom, law, or religion.
- noun Required action or service: synonym: function.
- noun Active military service.
- noun Moral or legal obligation.
- noun The compulsion felt to meet such obligation.
- noun A tax charged by a government, especially on imports.
- noun The application of something for a purpose; use.
- noun A measure of efficiency expressed as the amount of work done per unit of energy used.
- noun The total volume of water required to irrigate a given area in order to cultivate a specific crop until harvest.
- idiom (duty bound) Obliged.
- idiom (off duty) Not engaged in or responsible for assigned work.
- idiom (on duty) Engaged in or responsible for assigned work.
from The Century Dictionary.
- noun Obligatory service; that which ought to be done; that which one is bound by natural, moral, or legal obligation to do or perform.
- noun The obligation to do something; the binding or obligatory force of that which is morally right: as, when duty calls, one must obey.
- noun Due obedience; submission; compliant or obedient service.
- noun A feeling of obligation, or an act manifesting such feeling; an expression of submissive deference or respectful consideration.
- noun Any requisite procedure, service, business, or office; that which one ought to do; particularly, any stated service or function: as, the duties of one's station in life; to go or be on duty; the regiment did duty in Flanders.
- noun In mech., the number of foot-pounds of work done per bushel or per hundredweight of fuel consumed: as, the duty of a steam-engine.
- noun That which is due; an obligation; compensation; dues.
- noun A tax or impost; excise or customs dues; the sum of money levied by a government upon certain articles, specifically on articles imported or exported: as, the stamp duty of Great Britain; the legacy duty; the duties on sugar; ad valorem and specific duties.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- noun Obs. as signifying a material thing. That which is due; payment.
- noun That which a person is bound by moral obligation to do, or refrain from doing; that which one ought to do; service morally obligatory.
- noun Hence, any assigned service or business
- noun Specifically, obedience or submission due to parents and superiors.
- noun Respect; reverence; regard; act of respect; homage.
- noun (Engin.) The efficiency of an engine, especially a steam pumping engine, as measured by work done by a certain quantity of fuel; usually, the number of pounds of water lifted one foot by one bushel of coal (94 lbs. old standard), or by 1 cwt. (112 lbs., England, or 100 lbs., United States).
- noun (Com.) Tax, toll, impost, or customs; excise; any sum of money required by government to be paid on the importation, exportation, or consumption of goods.
- noun a duty which is graded according to the cost, or market value, of the article taxed. See
- noun a duty of a specific sum assessed on an article without reference to its value or market.
- noun actually engaged in the performance of one's assigned task.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun That which one is morally or legally
- noun A period of
timespent at work or doing a particular task.
- noun describing a workload as to its idle, working and de-energized periods.
- noun A
taxplaced on imports or exports; a tariff.
- noun obsolete One's
due, something one is owed; a debtor fee.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- noun a government tax on imports or exports
- noun the social force that binds you to the courses of action demanded by that force
- noun work that you are obliged to perform for moral or legal reasons
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
Ross thinks that duty proper, as he calls it, is a quite different sort of thing from a prima facie duty; the notion of ˜duty™ in ˜prima facie duty™ is a different notion from that in ˜duty proper™.
Harold Arthur Prichard Dancy, Jonathan 2009
"I know that Elise has a conscience that will hold her fast to duty," said Benigna, but she did not speak hopefully: she spoke deliberately, however, thinking that these words _conscience_ and _duty_ might arrest the minister's attention, and that he would perhaps, by some means, throw light upon questions which were constantly becoming more perplexing to her.
In the duty of accumulation -- and I call it a _duty_, in the most strict and literal signification of that word -- all below a competence is most valuable, and its acquisition most laudable; but all above a fortune is a misfortune.
Then it becomes our duty to screen not only the advance of our own troops and to secure to our Infantry the advantages of being able to advance undisturbed, but the climax of all these duties will be reached _in the far more important duty_, in the now indispensable task, of securing the _widest possible sphere of intelligence_.
Cavalry in Future Wars Friedrich von Bernhardi 1889
Patsey, who always says, "We are prompted by a deep sense of duty, my dear, _duty_!"
The Inner Sisterhood A Social Study in High Colors George Douglass Sherley 1887
The meaning in this case is no doubt clear enough, and the words "awful duty" may be the right ones; but had they stood _lawful duty_ in any old copy, he should have been a bold man who would have proposed to substitute
She was quite sure that she felt no desire to shrink from duty, however humble, but she sighed for some comforting assurance of what _was duty_.
The flames of war are already kindled — they are gathering along our coast and threatening upon out frontiers; the duty — the common duty* therefore, of Ameri. can citizens is, to use all means in their power, to bring the contest to the most speedy and most favourable issue.
A sermon, delivered in the meeting house of the First Baptist church in the city of New York, August 20th, 1812. Being a day recommended, by the constituted authorities of the nation, as a day of special humiliation and prayer, on account of the present war 1812
And having deduced 'that good of man which is private and particular, as far as seemeth fit,' he returns 'to that good of man which respects and beholds society,' which he terms DUTY, because the term of duty is more proper to a mind well framed and disposed towards others, as the term of VIRTUE is applied to a mind well formed and composed in itself; though neither can a man understand _virtue, without some relation to society_, nor _duty, without an inward disposition_.
The Philosophy of the Plays of Shakspere Unfolded Delia Bacon 1835
Being derelict in duty is another matter entirely.