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national debt

the financial obligations of a national government resulting from deficit spending.
Also called public debt.
Origin of national debt
1775-85, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for national debt
  • Beyond that, the money given to state and local governments doesn't support federal programs or reduce the national debt.
  • The money raised could be divided up among citizens or used to repay the national debt.
  • Let's imagine a country with excessive national debt.
  • Size matters, but so does who's holding a country's national debt.
  • In a time of exploding budget deficits and growing national debt, that seems pretty scary.
  • Four trillion dollars and counting added to the national debt.
  • Maybe our government should use this approach in dealing with the national debt.
  • Its currency tumbled and the cost of insuring its national debt against default soared.
  • Legions of tea-party protesters are decrying bailouts for deadbeats and the soaring national debt.
  • Already, the rising cost of caring for the elderly has pushed up the government deficit and the national debt.
British Dictionary definitions for national debt

national debt

the total outstanding borrowings of a nation's central government Also called (esp US) public debt
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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national debt in Culture

national debt definition

The debt of the government; the amount of borrowing by the government to meet expenditures exceeding tax revenues.

Note: A large national debt can inhibit growth and drive up interest rates.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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