\ (ˈ)ō How to pronounce oh (audio) \
variants: or less commonly

Essential Meaning of oh

1 used to express surprise, happiness, disappointment, or sadness Oh, it's so windy out here!Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that.Oh no! I forgot my purse.
2 used in response to a physical sensation (such as pain) Oh, that hurt.Oh, that does taste good.
3 used to address someone directly Oh sir, you forgot your change.Oh, waiter! We'd like the bill, pleaseBless us, O Lord.

Full Definition of oh

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 used to express an emotion (such as surprise or desire) or in response to physical stimuli Oh, no! I forgot my key.Oh, don't stop!
2 used in direct address oh, waiter! Will you come here, please?
3 used to express acknowledgment or understanding of a statement Oh, yes. It's one of my favorite cities.
4 used to introduce an example or approximation Their house is about, oh, I'd say four miles from here.


\ ˈō How to pronounce oh (audio) \

Definition of oh (Entry 2 of 3)

: zero

Definition of OH (Entry 3 of 3)


Synonyms for oh

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of oh in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Interjection It’s warming and oh-so-satisfying, especially when served with naan or paratha for dipping and scooping. Washington Post, 12 Jan. 2022 Building trust in the workplace is oh-so-important for employers and employees alike. Mike Kappel, Forbes, 5 Jan. 2022 Georgia’s Kario Oquendo was fouled on the ensuing possession, however, and made the basket and free throw to give the Bulldogs an oh-so-brief lead at 79-78. Brent Zwerneman, San Antonio Express-News, 4 Jan. 2022 This year saw 73 screenplays chosen by over 375 Hollywood execs make the list, and boy, oh, boy, are a lot of them biopics. Rebecca Alter, Vulture, 14 Dec. 2021 And, oh yeah, the Bears had a game to play two days later, hoping to end a five-game losing streak. Amanda Kaschube, chicagotribune.com, 12 Dec. 2021 One of my favorites is the oh-so-’70s Yves Saint Laurent Mombasa bag, with its circular shape and horn handle. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, 31 Dec. 2021 To top it off, for this particular movie, there’s this special feeling of oh my god. Jean Bentley, Variety, 2 Dec. 2021 Negative self-talk is an unfortunate human trait and is oh-so-common. Shirin Etessam, Rolling Stone, 28 Dec. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'oh.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of oh


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1936, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for oh


Middle English o


o; from the similarity of the symbol for zero (0) to the letter O

Learn More About oh

Time Traveler for oh

Time Traveler

The first known use of oh was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near oh




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for oh

Last Updated

17 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Oh.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oh. Accessed 26 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for oh


variants: also O \ ō , ˈō \

Kids Definition of oh

1 used to express an emotion (as surprise or pain) Oh, why did I ever come here?
2 used in direct address Oh, children, stop that noise!



Kids Definition of OH


More from Merriam-Webster on oh

Nglish: Translation of oh for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of oh for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!