1. To be indebted to the amount of: He owes me five dollars. 2. To have a moral or legal obligation to render or offer: I owe them an apology. 3. To be in debt to: We owe the plumber for services rendered. 4. To be indebted or obliged for: owed their riches to oil; owes her good health to diet and exercise. 5. To bear (a certain feeling) toward a person or persons: You seem to owe your neighbors a grudge.