c. 1300, dette, "anything owed or due from one person to another, a liability or obligation to pay or render something to another," from Old French dete, from Latin debitum "thing owed," neuter past participle of debere "to owe," originally, "keep something away from someone," from de "away" (see de-) + habere "to have" (from PIE root *ghabh- "to give or receive").
Meaning "state of being under obligation to make payment" is from mid-14c. Restored spelling after c. 1400. In Middle English, debt of the body (mid-14c.) was "that which spouses owe to each other, sexual intercourse."
It forms all or part of: able; avoirdupois; binnacle; cohabit; cohabitation; debenture; debit; debt; dishabille; due; duty; endeavor; exhibit; exhibition; forgive; gavel; gift; give; habeas corpus; habiliment; habit; habitable; habitant; habitat; habitation; habitual; habituate; habituation; habitude; habitue; inhabit; inhibit; inhibition; malady; prebend; prohibit; prohibition; provender.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit gabhasti- "hand, forearm;" Latin habere "to have, hold, possess," habitus "condition, demeanor, appearance, dress;" Old Irish gaibim "I take, hold, I have," gabal "act of taking;" Lithuanian gabana "armful," gabenti "to remove;" Gothic gabei "riches;" Old English giefan, Old Norse gefa "to give."
late 14c., paiement, "action of paying, repayment of a debt; amount due as a payment," from Old French paiement (13c.), from paiier (see pay (v.)). Meaning "thing or sum of money given in discharge of a debt" is from mid-15c.
"pawn, debt," 1859, American English, in hock, which meant both "in debt" and "in prison," from Dutch hok "jail, pen, doghouse, hutch, hovel," in slang use, "credit, debt."
When one gambler is caught by another, smarter than himself, and is beat, then he is in hock. Men are only caught, or put in hock, on the race-tracks, or on the steamboats down South. ... Among thieves a man is in hock when he is in prison. [G.W. Matsell, "Vocabulum," 1859]