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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 debentures
  • Intriguingly, they still sell their new debentures at a much higher price than those debentures fetch in the secondary market.
  • The payment will combine cash, stock and debentures.
  • The interest rate on the debentures, offering prices and underwriting terms are to be supplied by amendment.
British Dictionary definitions for debentures


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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for debentures



"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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