Definition of debt of honour in English:

debt of honour


  • 1A debt that is not legally recoverable, especially a sum lost in gambling.

    • ‘Kerr involved his solicitors to try and extract his winnings from the bookmaker, even though gambling debts are not recoverable by legal means - since 1710 they have been classed as a debt of honour and cannot be taken before a court.’
    • ‘He then turns to Bertram Wyatt-Brown's study of Southern Honor, which explains that in the antebellum South there were two kinds of debt, the business debt and the debt of honor.’
    • ‘Traynor negotiated the deal whereby the £1.143 million debt was settled by a £750,00 payment, leaving £110,000 standing as the ‘debt of honour’ that was never repaid.’
    1. 1.1A feeling of great gratitude.
      ‘we owe a debt of honour to miners who have died from these terrible diseases’
      • ‘He feels he owes a debt of honour to Brown, partly for standing aside in 1994 and partly for his stewardship of the economy since 1997.’
      • ‘After the 1991 Gulf War a Tory MP said that the country owed British soldiers a debt of honour.’
      • ‘She admits to owing a debt of honour to Mrs Beeton and even has several antique copies of Household Management in her collection of cleaning books.’
      • ‘And the Archbishop stressed that the war's victims were owed a debt of honour by political leaders.’
      • ‘We have said before that we believe the country owes a debt of honour to them.’
      • ‘"My own ambition is secondary to the enormous debt of honour and friendship that I owe to Alex Ferguson," says Veron.’
      • ‘There is no doubt that we owe them a tremendous debt of honour that we should never forget.’