Du"ty (?), n.; pl.
Duties (#). [From Due.] 1.
That which is due; payment. [Obs. as signifying a material
When thou receivest money for thy labor or ware, thou
receivest thy duty. Tyndale.
2. That which a person is bound by moral
obligation to do, or refrain from doing; that which one ought to do;
service morally obligatory.
Forgetting his duty toward God, his sovereign
lord, and his country. Hallam.
3. Hence, any assigned service or business;
as, the duties of a policeman, or a soldier; to be on
With records sweet of duties done.
To employ him on the hardest and most imperative
Duty is a graver term than obligation. A
duty hardly exists to do trivial things; but there may be an
obligation to do them. C. J. Smith.
4. Specifically, obedience or submission due
to parents and superiors. Shak.
5. Respect; reverence; regard; act of
respect; homage. "My duty to you." Shak.
6. (Engin.) The efficiency of an
engine, especially a steam pumping engine, as measured by work done
by a certain quantity of fuel; usually, the number of pounds of water
lifted one foot by one bushel of coal (94 lbs. old standard), or by 1
cwt. (112 lbs., England, or 100 lbs., United States).
7. (Com.) Tax, toll, impost, or
customs; excise; any sum of money required by government to be paid
on the importation, exportation, or consumption of goods.
☞ An impost on land or other real estate, and on the stock of
farmers, is not called a duty, but a direct tax.
Ad valorem duty, a duty which is graded
according to the cost, or market value, of the article taxed. See
Ad valorem. -- Specific duty, a
duty of a specific sum assessed on an article without reference to
its value or market. -- On duty, actually
engaged in the performance of one's assigned task.