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[dih-ben-cher] /dɪˈbɛn tʃər/
a certificate of drawback issued at a custom house.
Origin of debenture
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English debentur < Latin dēbentur (mihi) there are owing (to me), 3rd person plural passive indicative of dēbēre to owe (see debt)
Related forms
debentured, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for debenture
  • Even so, the debenture systems are opaque-the ratio between debenture-holders and accepted students is unknown.
  • The account was to be used ostensibly to deliver investors' funds into a debenture trading program.
British Dictionary definitions for debenture


Also called debenture bond. a long-term bond, bearing fixed interest and usually unsecured, issued by a company or governmental agency
a certificate acknowledging the debt of a stated sum of money to a specified person
a customs certificate providing for a refund of excise or import duty
Derived Forms
debentured, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Latin phrase dēbentur mihi there are owed to me, from dēbēre to owe
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for debenture

"written acknowledgment of a debt," early 15c., from Latin debentur "there are due" (said to have been the first word in formal certificates of indebtedness), passive present third person plural of debere "to owe" (see debt).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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