A tax on imports, exports, or consumption goods. Bloomberg Financial Dictionary
There are two main types of duty collected by HM Customs and Excise: one is 'import duty', which is duty charged on goods imported into the European Union ( EU); and the other is 'excise duty', which is a UK tax on certain types of goods, such as alcohol or tobacco. HM Customs & Revenue Glossary

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duty du‧ty [ˈdjuːti ǁ ˈduː-] noun duties PLURALFORM
1. [countable usually plural] something that you have to do as part of your job:

• Thomas J Hutchison was named chief executive officer, adding to his duties as president and chief operating officer.

— see also breach of duty
fiˌduciary ˈduty [uncountable] LAW
the legal duty of someone who is responsible for the assets of others to protect their interests — see also breach of fiduciary duty
2. [countable, uncountable] TAX a tax you pay on something you buy, import etc:

• Democrats want these imported vans classified as trucks and hit with a 25% duty.

Duty is levied (= charged ) on every bottle of wine brought into the country.

ad vaˌlorem ˈduty [æd væˈlɔːrəm ˌdjuːti ǁ -ˌduː-] [countable, uncountable] TAX
duty calculated as a percentage of the value of goods, rather than on their weight or the number of units
ˌcounterˈvailing ˌduty [countable, uncountable] TAX
a tax on goods brought into a country that is intended to protect an industry in that country from competition from abroad
ˈcustoms ˌduty [countable, uncountable] TAX
a tax on goods brought into a country that is used to raise money for the government and to protect industries in the country from competition from abroad; = CUSTOMS TARIFF:

• Privately imported cars are subject to a 19% customs duty.

ˈdeath ˌduties [plural] TAX
in Britain, taxes that must be paid by someone who is left property or money by someone who has died
disˈcriminating ˌduty [countable, uncountable] TAX
a tax on goods brought into a country which varies according to the country that the goods are coming from
esˈtate ˌduty [countable, uncountable] TAX
another name for death duties
ˈexcise ˌduty [countable, uncountable] TAX
a government tax on certain goods such as tobacco, alcoholic drinks, and petrol that are sold in the country
ˈexport ˌduty [countable, uncountable] TAX
tax that is paid on goods leaving a country:

• the export duties collected on timber shipped south to the US

ˈimport ˌduty [countable, uncountable] TAX
a tax on goods coming into a country from abroad, often used by governments as a way of reducing imports and protecting local industries; = IMPORT LEVY; IMPORT SURCHARGE; IMPORT TARIFF:
import duty on

• a US decision to impose import duties on Honda's Canadian-assembled cars

speˈcific ˌduty [countable, uncountable] TAX
duty based on a fixed amount of money for each unit of quantity or weight of a product, rather than its value:

• specific duties on tobacco and alcohol to replace the old ad valorem system

ˈstamp ˌduty [uncountable] TAX
tax that has to be paid in some countries when buying and selling things such as shares, property etc:

• Dealings in the certificates will incur the 1% stamp duty levied on all share dealings.

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duty UK US /ˈdjuːti/ US  /ˈduːti/ noun (plural duties)
[C or U] LAW a responsibility to do something because it is legally or morally right to do it: »

Every lawyer has a strong sense of duty and responsibility.

a duty to do sth »

They have a duty to ensure customers receive sound advice.

be sb's duty »

It is your duty to announce any conflict of interest.

do your duty »

I felt that I had done my duty in reporting the incident to the police.


It was alleged that the company had failed in its duty to advise customers of the technical aspects of the paint system.

[C, usually plural] HR something that you have to do because it is part of your job: »

His duties included photographing engineering projects such as bridges and airfields.

perform/undertake/do duties »

People employed under similar conditions should not be paid less than others performing similar duties.


teaching/cleaning/administrative duties

[U] HR one of the periods of time that a working day is divided into during which someone works: night/day duty »

Daniels volunteered for night duty so he could take classes at the University of Arizona.

[C or U] TAX, COMMERCE a tax paid on goods that are bought or imported: duty on sth »

He said that duty on a bottle of wine in France is equivalent to 2p compared with £1.16 here.

impose/raise/increase duty »

The duty on house purchases of £250,000 or more was increased to 2.5%.


a cut/rise/increase in duty


fuel/tobacco/petrol duty

See Note TAX(Cf. ↑tax)
off duty — Cf. off duty
on duty — Cf. on duty
See also BREACH OF DUTY(Cf. ↑breach of duty), COUNTERVAILING DUTY(Cf. ↑countervailing duty), CUSTOMS DUTY(Cf. ↑customs duty), DEATH DUTY(Cf. ↑death duty), DISCRIMINATING DUTY(Cf. ↑discriminating duty), DUTY-FREE(Cf. ↑duty-free), ESTATE DUTY(Cf. ↑estate duty), EXCISE DUTY(Cf. ↑excise duty), EXPORT DUTY(Cf. ↑export duty), HEAVY-DUTY(Cf. ↑heavy-duty), IMPORT DUTY(Cf. ↑import duty), LIGHT-DUTY(Cf. ↑light-duty), MEDIUM-DUTY(Cf. ↑medium-duty), SPECIFIC DUTY(Cf. ↑specific duty), STAMP DUTY(Cf. ↑stamp duty)
duty UK US /ˈdjuːti/ US  /ˈduːti/ adjective [before noun]
HR used to describe the person who is on duty at a particular time: »

duty engineer/manager/solicitor

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • duty — du·ty n pl du·ties [Anglo French deuté indebtedness, obligation, from deu owing, due, from Old French see due] 1: tasks, service, or functions that arise from one s position performing a police officer s duties; also: a period of being on duty… …   Law dictionary

  • Duty — • The definition of the term duty given by lexicographers is: something that is due , obligatory service ; something that one is bound to perform or to avoid Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Duty     Duty …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Duty — Du ty, n.; pl. {Duties}. [From {Due}.] 1. That which is due; payment. [Obs. as signifying a material thing.] [1913 Webster] When thou receivest money for thy labor or ware, thou receivest thy duty. Tyndale. [1913 Webster] 2. That which a person… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • DUTY — DUTY, an action that one is obligated to perform; a feeling, or sense, of obligation. In Judaism man s duties are determined by God s commandments. The entire biblical and rabbinic conception of man s role in the world is subsumed under the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • duty — [do͞ot′ē, dyo͞ot′ē] n. pl. duties [ME duete < Anglo Fr dueté, what is due (owing): see DUE & TY1] 1. the obedience or respect that one should show toward one s parents, older people, etc. 2. conduct based on moral or legal obligation, or a… …   English World dictionary

  • Duty — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Duty Álbum de estudio de Ayumi Hamasaki Publicación …   Wikipedia Español

  • Duty — Album par Ayumi Hamasaki Sortie 27 septembre 2000 Durée 51:45 Genre …   Wikipédia en Français

  • duty — [n1] responsibility, assignment burden, business, calling, charge, chore, commission, commitment, committal, contract, devoir, dues, engagement, function, hook*, job, load, millstone*, minding the store*, mission, must, need, obligation,… …   New thesaurus

  • duty — ► NOUN (pl. duties) 1) a moral or legal obligation. 2) a task required as part of one s job. 3) a payment levied on the import, export, manufacture, or sale of goods. 4) Brit. a payment levied on the transfer of property, for licences, and for… …   English terms dictionary

  • duty — late 13c., from Anglo Fr. duete, from O.Fr. deu due, owed; proper, just, from V.L. *debutus, from L. debitus, pp. of debere to owe (see DEBT (Cf. debt)). Related: Duties. The sense of tax or fee on imports, exports, etc. is from late 15c.; duty… …   Etymology dictionary

  • duty — 1 Obligation Analogous words: responsibility, accountability, amenability, answerability, liability (see corresponding adjectives at RESPONSIBLE) 2 office, *function, province Analogous words: concern, business, *affair 3 *task …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

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