That which one is morally or legally obligated to do. (noun)
Examples of word duty
Ross thinks that duty proper, as he calls it, is a quite different sort of thing from a prima facie duty; the notion of ˜duty™ in ˜prima facie duty™ is a different notion from that in ˜duty proper™.
"I know that Elise has a conscience that will hold her fast to duty," said Benigna, but she did not speak hopefully: she spoke deliberately, however, thinking that these words _conscience_ and _duty_ might arrest the minister's attention, and that he would perhaps, by some means, throw light upon questions which were constantly becoming more perplexing to her.
In the duty of accumulation -- and I call it a _duty_, in the most strict and literal signification of that word -- all below a competence is most valuable, and its acquisition most laudable; but all above a fortune is a misfortune.
Then it becomes our duty to screen not only the advance of our own troops and to secure to our Infantry the advantages of being able to advance undisturbed, but the climax of all these duties will be reached _in the far more important duty_, in the now indispensable task, of securing the _widest possible sphere of intelligence_.
Patsey, who always says, "We are prompted by a deep sense of duty, my dear, _duty_!"
The meaning in this case is no doubt clear enough, and the words "awful duty" may be the right ones; but had they stood _lawful duty_ in any old copy, he should have been a bold man who would have proposed to substitute
She was quite sure that she felt no desire to shrink from duty, however humble, but she sighed for some comforting assurance of what _was duty_.
The flames of war are already kindled — they are gathering along our coast and threatening upon out frontiers; the duty — the common duty* therefore, of Ameri. can citizens is, to use all means in their power, to bring the contest to the most speedy and most favourable issue.
And having deduced 'that good of man which is private and particular, as far as seemeth fit,' he returns 'to that good of man which respects and beholds society,' which he terms DUTY, because the term of duty is more proper to a mind well framed and disposed towards others, as the term of VIRTUE is applied to a mind well formed and composed in itself; though neither can a man understand _virtue, without some relation to society_, nor _duty, without an inward disposition_.
Being derelict in duty is another matter entirely.