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Wordnet 3.0

VERB (3)

1. be obliged to pay or repay;

2. be indebted to, in an abstract or intellectual sense;
- Example: "This new theory owes much to Einstein's Relativity Theory"

3. be in debt;
- Example: "She owes me $200"
- Example: "I still owe for the car"
- Example: "The thesis owes much to his adviser"


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Owe \Owe\ ([=o]), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Owed ([=o]d), (Ought ([add]t) obs.); p. pr. & vb. n. Owing ([=o]"[i^]ng).] [OE. owen, awen, aghen, to have, own, have (to do), hence, owe, AS. [=a]gan to have; akin to G. eigen, a., own, Icel. eiga to have, Dan. eie, Sw. [aum]ga, Goth. ['a]igan, Skr. [imac][,c]. [root]110. Cf. Ought, v., 2d Own, Fraught.] 1. To possess; to have, as the rightful owner; to own. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Thou dost here usurp The name thou ow'st not. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. To have or possess, as something derived or bestowed; to be obliged to ascribe (something to some source); to be indebted or obliged for; as, he owed his wealth to his father; he owed his victory to his lieutenants. --Milton. [1913 Webster] O deem thy fall not owed to man's decree. --Pope. [1913 Webster] 3. Hence: To have or be under an obigation to restore, pay, or render (something) in return or compensation for something received; to be indebted in the sum of; as, the subject owes allegiance; the fortunate owe assistance to the unfortunate. [1913 Webster] The one ought five hundred pence, and the other fifty. --Bible (1551). [1913 Webster] A son owes help and honor to his father. --Holyday. [1913 Webster] Note: Owe was sometimes followed by an objective clause introduced by the infinitive. "Ye owen to incline and bow your heart." --Chaucer. [1913 Webster] 4. To have an obligation to (some one) on account of something done or received; to be indebted to; as, to owe the grocer for supplies, or a laborer for services. [1913 Webster]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):

owe v 1: be obliged to pay or repay 2: be indebted to, in an abstract or intellectual sense; "This new theory owes much to Einstein's Relativity Theory" 3: be in debt; "She owes me $200"; "I still owe for the car"; "The thesis owes much to his adviser"
The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906):

OWE, v. To have (and to hold) a debt. The word formerly signified not indebtedness, but possession; it meant "own," and in the minds of debtors there is still a good deal of confusion between assets and liabilities.