An informal document that acknowledges a debt owed. IOU is an abbreviation, in phonetic terms, of “I owe you.” The debt owed does not necessarily involve a monetary value but can also involve other products. With IOUs being informal, those issuing the IOU are given free reign when writing and issuing an IOU. Things like time, date, interest, and payment type are not mandatory but may be implied.

The informal nature of an IOU means that there may be some uncertainty about whether it is a binding contract, and the legal remedies available to the lender, as opposed to formal contracts like a promissory note or bond indenture. Because of this uncertainty, an IOU is generally not a negotiable instrument.

Investment dictionary. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • IOU — noun [countable] informal something, usually a note, that you give to someone to show that you owe them a particular sum of money: • Commercial paper is a kind of corporate IOU. * * * IOU UK US /ˌaɪəʊˈjuː/ noun [C] INFORMAL ► ABBREVIATION …   Financial and business terms

  • IOU — [ī΄ō΄yo͞o′] n. pl. IOU s [for I owe you] an informally written, signed acknowledgment of a specified debt, characteristically bearing the letters IOU …   English World dictionary

  • IOU — may refer to:* IOU (debt), an acknowledgement of debt * I.O.U. (song), by jazz funk band Freeez * Investor owned utility * A song on the indie rock album Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? See also * IOYOU …   Wikipedia

  • IOU — [ ,aı ou ju ] noun count INFORMAL a piece of paper that you sign to say that you owe someone an amount of money. The letters IOU sound like the words I owe you …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • IOU — oder I.O.U. ist: ein englischer Ausdruck für Schuldschein (phonetisch sind I O U und I owe you [dt. Ich schulde Ihnen] identisch) eine Abkürzung für die Internationale Olympiajollen Union, der Klassenvereinigung der olympischen Bootsklasse von… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • IOU — a corrupted abbreviated form of the words I owe you . It is a written acknowledgement of a debt. It is not a negotiable instrument, like a cheque, but may be founded upon in court to make recovery of the sum more simple. Collins dictionary of law …   Law dictionary

  • Iou — iou, eou, lheou nm lac Gascogne …   Glossaire des noms topographiques en France

  • IOU — [ˌaı əu ˈju: US ou ] n informal [Date: 1700 1800; Origin: Representing I owe you] a note that you sign to say that you owe someone some money …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • IOU — (I owe you) ‚aɪəʊ juː n. signed note acknowledging a debt …   English contemporary dictionary

  • IOU — ► NOUN ▪ a signed document acknowledging a debt. ORIGIN representing the pronunciation of I owe you …   English terms dictionary

  • IOU — n. a signed document acknowledging a debt. Etymology: = I owe you * * * noun an informal debt instrument; representing I owe you • Hypernyms: ↑note, ↑promissory note, ↑note of hand * * * |ī(ˌ)ō|yü noun ( s) …   Useful english dictionary

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