Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to Duty: customs duty, Duty cycle, Duty free


A legal obligation that entails mandatory conduct or performance. With respect to the laws relating to Customs Duties, a tax owed to the government for the import or export of goods.

A fiduciary, such as an executor or trustee, who occupies a position of confidence in relation to a third person, owes such person a duty to render services, provide care, or perform certain acts on his or her behalf.

In the context of Negligence cases, a person has a duty to comport himself or herself in a particular manner with respect to another person.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. 1) a legal obligation, the breach of which can result in liability. In a lawsuit a plaintiff must claim and prove that there was a duty by defendant to plaintiff. This can be a duty of care in a negligence case or a duty to perform in a contract case. 2) a tax on imports. (See: duty of care)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

DUTY, natural law. A human action which is, exactly conformable to the laws which require us to obey them.
     2. It differs from a legal obligation, because a duty cannot always be enforced by the law; it is our duty, for example, to be temperate in eating, but we are under no legal obligation to be so; we ought to love our neighbors, but no law obliges us to love them.
     3. Duties may be considered in the relation of man towards God, towards himself, and towards mankind. 1. We are bound to obey the will of God as far as we are able to discover it, because he is the sovereign Lord of the universe who made and governs all things by his almighty power, and infinite wisdom. The general name of this duty is piety: which consists in entertaining just opinions concerning him, and partly in such affections towards him, and such, worship of him, as is suitable to these opinions.
     4.-2. A man has a duty to perform towards himself; he is bound by the law of nature to protect his life and his limbs; it is his duty, too, to avoid all intemperance in eating and drinking, and in the unlawful gratification of all his other appetites.
     5.-3. He has duties to perform towards others. He is bound to do to others the same justice which he would have a right to expect them to do to him.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
The sideshow taking place on the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Day on June 29 includes the Most Stylish Lady competition, with the award-winning actress and Coronation Street star Michelle Keegan as one of the judges.
Duty Free senior vice-president Keith Hunter said: "For the first time, we have included a special incentive for Doha residents as a 'welcome back' offer, where they can also get an exclusive discount coupon for purchases at arrivals Duty Free.
Friday Night Fights, from executive producers Ridley Scott and Tony Scott and director RJ Cutler, debuts this Friday, November 11th on Call of Duty Elite TV .
The comments of my students wakened me to the realization that duty has by and large vanished from our vocabulary.
The Business Traveller Middle East award is the second major award to be won by Dubai Duty Free this year.
The current Stamp Duty "holiday" for properties lower than pounds 175.000 is due to expire, but 91 per cent of estate agents surveyed feel that it should be extended.
Duty of care, in the medical context, is often invoked as a sort of quasi-biblical commandment, akin to "do not lie" or "do not murder." In a document submitted to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Expert Panel Secretariat, Godkin and Markwell suggest that policy guidelines on the duty of care (which they term duty to care) should state that healthcare professionals' duty to care extends to a public health emergency in outbreak conditions (2).
The common thread running through all is that fiduciaries have discretionary authority over another's money, property, or other assets, and a legal duty to act in a manner that benefits the other person, or organization.
Fiduciary duty is imposed on a person who accepts being placed in a position of great trust by another individual or entity and, as a result, is required to fulfill important legal responsibilities in exercising that trust.
Currently, there is an 8.7% countervailing duty on Canadian lumber imports and anti-dumping duties averaging about 2.1%.
Common responses were the principals' assumptions that school counselors should supervise hall duty, bus loading/unloading, restrooms, and lunchtime for 2.2 hours each week, while both school counselors and those in training flit they should not engage in these activities at all (p = .045).