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1

ought

play
verbal auxiliary \ˈȯt\

Definition of ought

  1. —used to express obligation <ought to pay our debts>, advisability <ought to take care of yourself>, natural expectation <ought to be here by now>, or logical consequence <the result ought to be infinity>



Origin of ought

Middle English oughte (1st & 3d singular present indicative), from oughte, 1st & 3d singular past indicative & subjunctive of owen to own, owe — more at owe


First Known Use: 12th century

Rhymes with ought


2

ought

play
verb \ˈȯ(ḵ)t\

Simple Definition of ought

  • —used to indicate what is expected

  • —used to say or suggest what should be done

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of ought

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 chiefly Scottish :  possess

  3. 2 chiefly Scottish :  owe

Origin of ought

Middle English oughte, 1st & 3d singular past indicative of owen


First Known Use: 13th century


3

ought

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noun \ˈȯt\

Definition of ought

  1. :  moral obligation :  duty



1678

First Known Use of ought

1678


4

ought

play
\ˈȯt, ˈät\

Definition of ought

  1. archaic variant of aught





OUGHT Defined for Kids

ought

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helping verb \ˈȯt\

Definition of ought for Students

  1. 1 —used to show duty <You ought to obey your parents.>

  2. 2 —used to show what it would be wise to do <You ought to take care of that cough.>

  3. 3 —used to show what is naturally expected <They ought to be here by now.>

  4. 4 —used to show what is correct <You ought to get nine for the answer.>





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