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The Devil's Dictionary:    

Definition of Duty

  DUTY   noun
That which sternly impels us in the direction of profit, along the line of desire.
  Sir Lavender Portwine, in favor at court,
  Was wroth at his master, who'd kissed Lady Port.
  His anger provoked him to take the king's head,
  But duty prevailed, and he took the king's bread,


Devil's Dictionarydefinition from:
The Devil's Dictionary
by Ambrose Bierce, 1911

Regular definition:
?dju:t? n. (pl. -ies) 1 a a moral or legal obligation; a responsibility (his duty to report it). b the binding force of what is right (strong sense of duty). c what is required of one (do one's duty). 2 payment to the public revenue, esp.: a that levied on the import, export, manufacture, or sale of goods (customs duty). b that levied on the transfer of property, licences, the legal recognition of documents, etc. (death duty; probate duty). 3 a job or function (his duties as caretaker). 4 the behaviour due to a superior; deference, respect. 5 the measure of an engine's effectiveness in units of work done per unit of fuel. 6 Eccl. the performance of church services. ødo duty for serve as or pass for (something else). duty-bound obliged by duty. duty-free (of goods) on which duty is not leviable. duty-free shop a shop at an airport etc. at which duty-free goods can be bought. duty-officer the officer currently on duty. duty-paid (of goods) on which duty has been paid. duty visit a visit paid from obligation, not from pleasure. on (or off) duty engaged (or not engaged) in one's work. [AF dewet÷, duet÷ (as DUE)]

Last updated: 9/3/2011 12:48:30