I saw in various dictionaries that Debit has a verb definition.

Example from Dictionary.com:

verb (used with object)

  1. to charge with a debt: The store debited her account for the purchase.
  2. to charge as a debt: The store debited the purchase to her account.

However, I couldn't find any example sentences which people actually used containing the verb form of debited. I need do decide whether I want to use this word in our company documentation instead of "charge", for the sake of consistency.

For example: Specify the item for which the customer is being debited.

Also - assuming the word can be used in this manner - is it OK to say that a person is being debited, or can only accounts be debited?

Thank you in advance for your help.

  • 3
    As a verb, we normally talk of "debiting" an account in a ledger, i.e. in the firm's book-keeping system. Because not everyone is familiar with the meaning of the word (and double-entry book-keeping in general) we sometimes talk of 'charging' an account rather then "debiting" it.
    – BillJ
    Aug 29, 2016 at 6:11
  • 2
    @BillJ As someone who spent forty years in the accountancy profession let me agree with you, and add that debit and credit can each be used as noun, adjective and verb.
    – WS2
    Aug 29, 2016 at 7:11

2 Answers 2


The verb to debit is generally used with (bank) acconts:

to take money out of an account or keep a record of this:

  • The bank debited my account.

  • The bank debited the money from my account.

  • The unauthorized borrowing fee will be debited to your account.

To charge has the same meaning here:

  • The bill was charged to my account

To charge (not debit) is also used when you ask money for goods/services:

  • to ask an amount of money for something, especially a service or activity:
    • How much/What do you charge for a haircut and blow-dry?
    • The bank charged commission to change my traveller's cheques.
    • [ + two objects ] They charge you $20 just to get in the nightclub. The local museum doesn't charge for admission.

Coming to your sentence, "charge" is correct or you could say:

..the item for which the customer's account is being debited.

Cambridge Dictionary


As someone who spent forty years in the accountancy profession let me explain that both debit and credit can each be used as verb, adjective or noun.


*For every debit there must be a corresponding credit.(fundamental law of bookkeeping.)

Or a credit in the cash account is matched by a debit, elsewhere, e.g. in a customer account.


*The account contains a number of unexplained debit/credit entries.

or In any set of books the sum of all the debit balances should equal the sum of all the credit balances.


If you debit the customer's account, they will owe you more money.

By crediting the Profit & Loss a/c you increase the reported profit of the business.

  • Chartered accountancy is rather exciting, isn't it?
    – deadrat
    Aug 29, 2016 at 7:45
  • 1
    @deadrat It can be as exciting as sky-diving! Depends whose accounts you are keeping.
    – WS2
    Aug 29, 2016 at 12:18
  • youtube.com/watch?v=azkFz1ZbXyU
    – deadrat
    Aug 29, 2016 at 13:31
  • @deadrat I watched that particular episode of Monty Python when it was first shown on late-night BBC. As I try to explain to my children, I didn't go to work to have fun, but to keep them in the things to which they were glad to be accustomed.
    – WS2
    Aug 29, 2016 at 14:18
  • Children? I kept asking my accountant about them. He could never make the numbers work.
    – deadrat
    Aug 29, 2016 at 14:50

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