1. A certificate or voucher acknowledging a debt.
2. An unsecured bond issued by a civil or governmental corporation or agency and backed only by the credit standing of the issuer.
3. A customhouse certificate providing for the payment of a drawback.
[Middle English debentur, from Latin dēbentur, they are due (probably the first word appearing on certificates of indebtedness), third person pl. passive of dēbēre, to owe; see ghabh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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