natural or legal person who enters into a debt relationship; entity that owes a debt to another entity

A debtor is someone or something that owes a debt to another. It may be an individual, a firm, a government, a company or other legal person. The counterparty is called a creditor. When the counterpart of this debt arrangement is a bank, the debtor is more often referred to as a borrower.

St Briavels Castle Debtors Prison


  • I hold every man a debtor to his profession.
    • Francis Bacon, Maxims of the Law, Preface; Reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 181.
  • Creditors have better memories than debtors; and creditors are a superstitious sect, great observers of set days and times.
  • Let every man, every corporation, and especially let every village, town, and city, every county and State, get out of debt and keep out of debt. It is the debtor that is ruined by hard times.
  • Leve aes alienum debitorem facit, grave inimicum.
    • A trifling debt makes a man your debtor; a large one makes him an enemy.
      • Seneca the Younger, Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium (Moral Letters to Lucilius) (c. 65), Letter XIX: On worldliness and retirement, line 11.

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