Definition of indebted in English:



  • 1Owing money.

    ‘heavily indebted countries’
    • ‘This does not cover countries like Nigeria, which is among the most indebted, but owes the money to private lenders.’
    • ‘The confidence of America's heavily indebted consumers is at a 13-year low.’
    • ‘The indebted Bassanio needs to marry Portia for money as much as for love.’
    • ‘Practically all of them were heavily indebted, and many peasants had no money to pay taxes.’
    • ‘Many were heavily indebted even before the disaster and have no money to re-establish themselves.’
    • ‘If the recent Central Bank report is anything to go by it is this younger group that is most heavily in debt in an increasingly indebted population.’
    • ‘They said it would be unlikely that indebted companies will continue purchasing dollars at a very high rate.’
    • ‘Are Americans really the heavily indebted spendthrifts the world's press makes them out to be?’
    • ‘The company is still among Malaysia's biggest, and it's also heavily indebted.’
    • ‘It will be the first time the heavily indebted company has acknowledged the regulatory concerns over its financial plight.’
    • ‘So we asked ourselves: What would happen to the people if the state were to become so indebted it lost its power to protect?’
    • ‘Their perennial threats to disconnect indebted clients, high bills and water shortages have seen to that.’
    • ‘Several farmers explained that as they become more indebted they have to turn to private traders and money lenders.’
    • ‘Over time there has been an important shift in financing for highly indebted poor countries, away from private and bilateral nonconcessional sources to the International Development Association and other sources of multilateral concessional financing.’
    • ‘Australians have never been as heavily indebted as they are now.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, indebted countries are left with few resources and little choice.’
    • ‘The residents of the area said he had committed suicide as he was heavily indebted and was finding it difficult to repay his loans.’
    • ‘Second, we have been in a heavily indebted situation for more than 30 years.’
    • ‘Indian farmers are often indebted and credit constrained and do not have access to chemicals at the right point in time.’
    • ‘This communication sets out the Community's contribution to the world debt relief initiative for highly indebted poor countries.’
    1. 1.1Owing gratitude for a service or favor.
      ‘I am indebted to her for her help in indexing my book’
      • ‘I genuinely mean that - I am indebted to the team here for putting up with my pet hates and musings every week.’
      • ‘The government and all citizens are indebted to them for their service.’
      • ‘I am forever indebted to you for the help you gave me, and it would appear that many others appreciate your dedication to this beautiful area too.’
      • ‘I am highly indebted to more than 150 young students who have given me honest and open account of their life.’
      • ‘You all have given me really good advice in the past, and I'm indebted to you.’
      • ‘I personally will remain indebted to her for some of the most wonderful and memorable shows I have seen in Egypt.’
      • ‘She has extended a lot of courtesies to me, and I feel somewhat indebted.’
      • ‘Rural North Yorkshire is also indebted to the Rylstone gang, for demonstrating that there is more to the place than sheep and steam trains.’
      • ‘Ballina Athletic Club are indebted to the many businesses of the town who provide sponsorship and spot prizes.’
      • ‘The fire service were also on the scene swiftly and we are indebted to them for their actions.’
      • ‘Mountmellick is especially indebted to Stephen for his help and encouragement in getting the branch set up.’
      • ‘As we talk I discover that I am in fact deeply indebted to him.’
      • ‘An entire battalion of Scotsmen should feel indebted to him.’
      • ‘For these details I am indebted to the Manchester Astronomical Society's historian, Kevin Kilburn.’
      • ‘For this post I am indebted to Barbara of Winos and Foodies who, a while back, wrote a post about how simple it is to make English Muffins.’
      • ‘I am indebted here to Somi Kim for lending me her copy, the only one I have ever seen.’
      • ‘The students enjoyed the tour and are indebted to their teachers for their efforts in making it a reality’
      • ‘What this means is that if someone was very good to him and did him some favours, he would be indebted to them for life.’
      • ‘Further, I do feel that I am indebted to my country for providing me with a good primary and secondary education.’
      • ‘I am indebted to three of these crisis clubs for giving me an excellent, if slightly surreal, grounding in football management.’
      beholden, under an obligation, obliged, obligated, bound, duty-bound, honour-bound, grateful, thankful, filled with gratitude, appreciative
      in someone's debt, owing someone a debt of gratitude
      View synonyms


Middle English endetted, from Old French endette involved in debt past participle of endetter. The spelling change in the 16th century was due to association with medieval Latin indebitare (based on Latin debitum debt).