The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Duty \Du"ty\, n.; pl. Duties. [From Due.]
1. That which is due; payment. [Obs. as signifying a material
When thou receivest money for thy labor or ware,
thou receivest thy duty. --Tyndale.
2. That which a person is bound by moral obligation to do, or
refrain from doing; that which one ought to do; service
Forgetting his duty toward God, his sovereign lord,
and his country. --Hallam.
3. Hence, any assigned service or business; as, the duties of
a policeman, or a soldier; to be on duty.
With records sweet of duties done. --Keble.
To employ him on the hardest and most imperative
Duty is a graver term than obligation. A duty hardly
exists to do trivial things; but there may be an
obligation to do them. --C. J. Smith.
4. Specifically, obedience or submission due to parents and
5. Respect; reverence; regard; act of respect; homage. "My
duty to you." --Shak.
6. (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.,
7. (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.
Note: An impost on land or other real estate, and on the
stock of farmers, is not called a duty, but a direct
Ad valorem duty, a duty which is graded according to the
cost, or market value, of the article taxed. See Ad
Specific duty, a duty of a specific sum assessed on an
article without reference to its value or market.
On duty, actually engaged in the performance of one's