mid-15c., "something that is owed, a debt," from Old French debet or directly from Latin debitum "thing owed, that which is owing," 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").
In book-keeping, "an entry into an account of a sum of money owing," 1776. As a verb, "to charge with a debt," from 1680s; from 1865 as "enter on the debit side of an account." Related: Debited; debiting; debitor. Debit card is attested from 1975.