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[deb-it] /ˈdɛb ɪt/
the recording or an entry of debt in an account.
  1. that which is entered in an account as a debt; a recorded item of debt.
  2. any entry or the total shown on the debit side.
  3. the left-hand side of an account on which such entries are made (opposed to credit).
an undesirable or disadvantageous feature.
verb (used with object)
to charge with a debt:
The store debited her account for the purchase.
to charge as a debt:
The store debited the purchase to her account.
Bookkeeping. to enter upon the debit side of an account.
Origin of debit
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Old French < Latin dēbitum something owed; see debt
Related forms
predebit, noun, verb (used with object)
redebit, verb (used with object)
undebited, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for debit
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Two or three hundred English pounds were a considerable improvement on a debit account.

    The Independence of Claire Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
  • debit balances have increased £509,840, and now include Treasury bills.

    The World in Chains John Mavrogordato
  • When we enjoyed each other before only love was between us—there was no question of debit and credit.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • It was Desk and debit, for which I had been seeking for weeks.

    Desk and Debit Oliver Optic
  • Jacques: He brings the whole to a grand total to find out with what sum, en bloc, he is to debit each letter-carrier.

    Economic Sophisms Frederic Bastiat
British Dictionary definitions for debit


  1. acknowledgment of a sum owing by entry on the left side of an account
  2. the left side of an account
  3. an entry on this side
  4. the total of such entries
  5. (as modifier): a debit balance Compare credit (sense 10)
verb -its, -iting, -ited
  1. to record (an item) as a debit in an account
  2. to charge (a person or his account) with a debt Compare credit (sense 17)
Word Origin
C15: from Latin dēbitumdebt
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 debit

mid-15c., from Middle French debet or directly from Latin debitum "thing owed, that which is owing," neuter past participle of debere "to owe" (see debt). As a verb from 1680s. Debit card is attested from 1975.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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