duty - definition and synonyms


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  1. 1
    [countable/uncountable] a legal or moral obligation

    He has a duty under the terms of his contract to pay rent.

    be someone’s duty to do something:

    It is your duty as a parent to protect your children.

    owe/have a duty to someone:

    The company has a duty to its shareholders.

    sense of duty:

    He has a strong sense of family duty.

    do your duty:

    I was simply doing my duty as a good citizen.

    1. a.


      [plural] things that you have to do as part of your job

      He was too unwell to carry out his administrative duties.

      Police officers are often injured in the course of their duties.

  2. 2
    [countable/uncountable] economics a tax that you must pay on something that you buy, or on something that you bring into one country from another country

    The house buyer has to pay duty at 1% of the purchase price.

    duty on:

    The duty on petrol has been raised.

See also