When you've done your duty, you've done what you're supposed to and met your responsibilities. Your sense of duty as a citizen might compel you to vote; it might also keep you from voting twice.

A duty is an obligation, and we get new duties with new positions in life, like taking a job, or becoming a parent. You didn't realize one of your duties as club president would be cleaning up after meetings. A police officer or cab driver can be on-duty or off-duty. As an off-duty police officer, you might still feel it's your duty to stop a robbery. Duty also means "tax," which is why people like shopping duty-free at the airport.

Primary Meanings of duty

the social force that binds you to the courses of action demanded by that force
a government tax on imports or exports
Full Definitions of duty

n the social force that binds you to the courses of action demanded by that force

“we must instill a sense of duty in our children”
“"every possession, a duty"- John D.Rockefeller Jr”
obligation, responsibility
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the responsibility to do something
guardianship, keeping, safekeeping
the responsibility of a guardian or keeper
moral obligation
an obligation arising out of considerations of right and wrong
noblesse oblige
the obligation of those of high rank to be honorable and generous (often used ironically)
burden of proof
the duty of proving a disputed charge
civic duty, civic responsibility
the responsibilities of a citizen
filial duty
duty of a child to its parents
some duty that is essential and urgent
a duty that is incumbent upon you
legal duty
acts which the law requires be done or forborne
line of duty
all that is normally required in some area of responsibility
white man's burden
the supposed responsibility of the white race to provide care for their non-white subjects
prerequisite, requirement
something that is required in advance
demand, requirement
required activity
custody, hands
(with `in') guardianship over; in divorce cases it is the right to house and care for and discipline a child
jury duty
the civic duty to serve on a jury
fiduciary duty
the legal duty of a fiduciary to act in the best interests of the beneficiary
obedience, respect
behavior intended to please your parents
a condition that is a prerequisite
academic requirement
a requirement for admission to or completion of an academic program
essential condition, sine qua non
a prerequisite
Type of:
social control
control exerted (actively or passively) by group action

n work that you are obliged to perform for moral or legal reasons

“the duties of the job”
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chore, job, task
a specific piece of work required to be done as a duty or for a specific fee
function, office, part, role
the actions and activities assigned to or required or expected of a person or group
assignment, duty assignment
a duty that you are assigned to perform (especially in the armed forces)
ball-breaker, ball-buster
a job or situation that is demanding and arduous and punishing
an individual's prescribed share of work
a specified function
an informal term for a person's role
the role of the head of a government department
lieu, place, position, stead
the post or function properly or customarily occupied or served by another
second fiddle
a secondary role or function
guard, guard duty, sentry duty, sentry go
the duty of serving as a sentry
fatigue, fatigue duty
labor of a nonmilitary kind done by soldiers (cleaning or digging or draining or so on)
charge, commission, mission
a special assignment that is given to a person or group
assignment to a different duty
sea-duty, service abroad, shipboard duty
naval service aboard a ship at sea
shore duty
naval service at land bases
scut work
trivial, unrewarding, tedious, dirty, and disagreeable chores
Type of:
activity directed toward making or doing something

n a government tax on imports or exports

“they signed a treaty to lower duties on trade between their countries”
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custom, customs, customs duty, impost
money collected under a tariff
tonnage, tonnage duty, tunnage
a tax imposed on ships that enter the US; based on the tonnage of the ship
a tax on various goods brought into a town
revenue tariff
a tariff imposed to raise revenue
protective tariff
a tariff imposed to protect domestic firms from import competition
import duty
a duty imposed on imports
export duty
a duty imposed on exports
countervailing duty
a duty imposed to offset subsidies by foreign governments
ship money
an impost levied in England to provide money for ships for national defense
anti-dumping duty
a tariff imposed to prevent dumping
Type of:
indirect tax
a tax levied on goods or services rather than on persons or organizations

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