Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary
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- 1) An amount owed by one person or entity to another. 2) A cause of action in a lawsuit to recover a set amount owed by another person or entity. 3) The total of everything a person or entity owes to all creditors. For example, everything the United States government owes is collectively called "the national debt," and that amount is made up of a number of debts.