1 sum of money owed
ADJ. big, crippling, enormous, high, huge, large, massive, substantial He was burdened with crippling debts. | mounting a company faced with mounting debts | outstanding, unpaid She used her lottery winnings to pay off her outstanding debts. | overdue | bad (= that cannot be repaid) Bad debt has hit the bank's profits this year. | long-term, short-term | overall, total | gross, net | commercial, corporate | external, foreign, international | national, public The country has a national debt of 80% of GNP. | gambling
VERB + DEBT be burdened with, have, owe (sb) the substantial debts that the company owed to the bank | incur, run up She ran up huge debts on her credit card. | clear, meet, pay (back/off), repay, settle Without a job, he'll never clear his debts. It'll take months to pay off all your debts. | reduce | tackle The new governments main aim is to tackle the country's massive debt. | default on The firm defaulted on its debt and its assets were seized. | cancel, wipe off/out, write off After a series of meetings, the banks were forced to write off the company's debts. | service (= pay interest on) The fall in exports has left the country unable to service its debts. | reschedule, restructure The company has reached a deal with its major creditors allowing it to restructure its debts. | secure a debt secured on property
DEBT + VERB fall due | stand at sth, total sth The national debt stands at $7,000 million. | arise from sth debts arising from bad investments
DEBT + NOUN collection, collector | burden
PREP. of ~ $80 million of debt
PHRASES a burden of debt Faced with a mounting burden of debt, he sold off the company. | payment/repayment/settlement of a debt
2 state of owing money
VERB + DEBT go into, get into, slip into It is easy to get into serious debt with a credit card. | get out of You can get out of debt by strict economizing.
PREP. in ~ He was heavily in debt by the time he sought advice. | out of ~ struggling to stay out of debt
PHRASES deeply/heavily in debt
3 sth that you owe sb
VERB + DEBT owe | acknowledge, recognize
PREP. in sb's ~ I am in Ruth's debt for the excellent advice she gave me. | ~ to In the introduction, the author acknowledges her debt to other writers on the subject.
PHRASES owe a debt of gratitude to sb We owe a great debt of gratitude to our families for their support.