Debit

Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Debit


Quick Summary of Debit


An entry recording an amount owed, listed on the left-hand side or column of an account.



What is the dictionary definition of Debit?

Dictionary Definition


An accounting entry acknowledging sums that are owing.

  1. In bookkeeping, an entry in the left-hand column of an account.
  2. A sum of money taken out of a bank account. Thus called, because in bank’s bookkeeping a cash withdrawal diminishes the amount of money held on the account, i.e. bank’s debt to the customer.

Full Definition of Debit


A debit is a bookkeeping entry that results in the increase of an asset or a decrease in a liability or owners equity. A debit has the opposite effect of a credit, which either decreases an asset or increases a liability or owners equity. A debit (or credit) per se is neither positive or negative for the company’s financial position. For example, if the company receives cash (an asset), a debit is posted to the cash account, because a debit increases an asset. If the company receives a telephone bill (thereby incurring an expense, which decreases owners equity), a debit is posted to the utility expense account, because a debit decreases owners equity. Therefore, rather than consider a debit as something either good or bad, it’s better to think of a debit as merely a left-side bookkeeping entry (assets are listed on the left side of the balance sheet) and a credit as a right-side bookkeeping entry (where liabilities and owners equity can be found).


Cite Term


To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
https://payrollheaven.com/define/debit/
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Debit. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. July 05, 2020 https://payrollheaven.com/define/debit/.
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Debit. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. https://payrollheaven.com/define/debit/ (accessed: July 05, 2020).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Debit. PayrollHeaven.com. Retrieved July 05, 2020, from PayrollHeaven.com website: https://payrollheaven.com/define/debit/

Definition Sources


Definitions for Debit are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 15th February, 2020 | 4 Views.