Meaning of DUTY in English

DUTY

du ‧ ty S2 W1 /ˈdjuːti $ ˈduː-/ BrE AmE noun ( plural duties )

[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Anglo-French ; Origin: dueté , from Old French deu ; ⇨ ↑ due 1 ]

1 . SOMETHING YOU MUST DO [uncountable and countable] something that you have to do because it is morally or legally right SYN obligation :

I promise I will do my duty.

We feel it is our duty to help her.

Local authorities have a duty to keep the streets clean.

You have a duty to your husband and to your children.

She has a strong sense of moral duty.

The unions have failed in their duty to female workers.

In the traditional Hindu family, the son is duty-bound to look after his mother.

2 . WORK [countable usually plural, uncountable] something you have to do as part of your job

duties

Martin’s duties included cleaning the cars.

She works for her father doing part-time secretarial duties.

He will soon be fit enough to carry out his duties (=do his job) .

He can only do light duties.

When Juliet reported for duty (=arrived and said she was ready to start work) she was sent to check on a new patient.

A teacher may be fired for neglect of duty (=failing to do their job properly) .

He did three tours of duty in Vietnam (=three periods working in a foreign country as a soldier, government officer etc) .

3 . be on/off duty to be working or not working at a particular time, especially when you are doing a job which people take turns to do, so that someone is always doing it:

He’s on night duty.

Mary goes on duty (=starts working) tonight at half past ten.

What time do you go off duty (=finish work) ?

4 . TAX [uncountable and countable] a tax you pay on something you buy

duty on

the duty on cigarettes

customs duty (=tax paid on goods coming into the country) ⇨ ↑ death duties , ↑ stamp duty

5 . do duty as something to be used as something SYN serve as something :

The living room also does duty as a home office.

⇨ ↑ double duty , ↑ heavy-duty , ⇨ jury duty at ↑ jury service , ⇨ on active duty at ↑ active service

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COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 1)

■ verbs

▪ have a duty to do something

Parents have a duty to make sure that their children receive an education.

▪ do your duty

I felt I had done my duty by voting.

▪ fulfil your duty British English , fulfill your duty American English formal (=do what is needed)

The school has failed to fulfil its legal duty towards students.

▪ have/owe a duty to somebody

A tenant owes a duty to the landlord to keep the house in reasonable condition.

▪ fail in your duty (=not do something that you should do)

I would be failing in my duty if I didn't warn you of the dangers.

■ adjectives

▪ a moral duty

She felt it was her moral duty to treat everyone equally.

▪ a legal duty

Employers have a legal duty to ensure the safety of their workforce.

▪ a statutory duty (=required by law)

Local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure that parks are clean.

▪ a public duty (=relating to the people of a country)

The media has a public duty to report the truth.

▪ a civic duty (=done because you live in a place)

It is your civic duty to vote.

■ phrases

▪ a sense of duty

He was caring for his parents out of a sense of duty rather than love.

▪ be duty-bound to do something formal (=have a duty to do something)

Soldiers are here to do a job and are duty-bound to complete it.

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COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)

■ verbs

▪ carry out your duties ( also perform/discharge your duties formal ) (=do your job)

She has always carried out her duties efficiently.

▪ take up your duties (=start doing a new job)

Neale has agreed a three-year contract and takes up his duties on March 1.

▪ resume your duties (=start doing your job again)

She hopes to be well enough to resume her duties next week.

▪ report for duty (=arrive and be ready to start work)

You must report for duty at 8:30 tomorrow morning.

▪ neglect/shirk your duties (=not do your job properly)

No soldier can be allowed to neglect his duties.

■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + duty

▪ official duties

The new President will take up his official duties next month.

▪ presidential/royal/ministerial etc duties (=duties that go with being a president, member of a royal family, a minister etc)

The prince is now old enough to carry out royal duties.

▪ household/domestic duties (=jobs you have to do around the house)

My husband and I share most of the household duties.

▪ light duties (=not involving hard physical work)

He'd been wounded, sent home and put on light duties.

▪ guard duty (=job of guarding a place)

There were two soldiers on guard duty outside the embassy.

■ phrases

▪ neglect of duty (=failing to do your job properly)

Six police officers were fired for neglect of duty.

▪ a tour of duty (=period of working in another country as a soldier, government officer etc)

He became a General, and his tours of duty included Korea and Vietnam.

▪ beyond the call of duty (=more than you have to do as part of your job)

She's a doctor who has gone beyond the call of duty in her care for her patients.

▪ in the course of duty (=while doing your job, especially for your country)

Stewart received a medal for outstanding bravery in the course of duty.

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THESAURUS

▪ tax money that you must pay to the government, especially from the money you earn, or as an additional payment when you buy something:

How much income tax do you pay each month?

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The Republicans promised to reduce taxes before the last election.

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Consumers are angry that the tax on petrol has gone up yet again.

▪ duty a tax you pay on something you buy:

The budget also sharply raised the duty on alcohol and tobacco.

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customs duty (=tax you pay on goods you buy and bring into the country)

▪ tariff a tax on goods coming into a country or going out of a country, especially to protect a country’s industry from cheap goods from other countries:

the import tariffs on hi-tech equipment

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The government’s tariff and trade policies came under fierce attack.

▪ levy an extra amount of money that you have to pay the government, usually as a tax, often in order to encourage people not to use or do something:

A new levy on fuel inefficient vehicles has been proposed.

▪ surcharge an amount of money that you have to pay in addition to the agreed or stated price of something:

British Airways will increase its fuel surcharge on all airline tickets from June 3.

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When you get cash at some machines, you have to pay an ATM surcharge.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.