variants or less commonly O
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!
used in direct address
oh, waiter! Will you come here, please?
used to express acknowledgment or understanding of a statement
Oh, yes. It's one of my favorite cities.
used to introduce an example or approximation
Their house is about, oh, I'd say four miles from here.


2 of 3


: zero


3 of 3



Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
There’s rich whole milk (life’s too short for skim), a solitary egg and two — that’s right, two — sticks of oh-so-sweet cream butter. Allison Robicelli, Washington Post, 8 Feb. 2023 Mary hollered over her shoulder, in a melodious, oh-so-Tennessee accent, warm with years. Colin Warren-hicks The Virginian-pilot (tns), al, 5 Feb. 2023 Amy-Leigh Hickman joins the season 4 cast of You as Nadia, a college student who shares similar interests with Joe (uh oh). Skyler Caruso, Peoplemag, 3 Feb. 2023 If only there was a way to do both…oh wait, there is! Danielle Sinay, Glamour, 1 Feb. 2023 Shah wasn’t there, but Angie Katsanevas showed up, and had some testy exchanges with Meredith Marks, who oh so casually mentioned that Angie K. has been trying to get on the show for the past three. oregonlive, 1 Feb. 2023 So who could be shocked by Animal Kingdom signs for, oh, say, Simba and Nemo? Dewayne Bevil, Orlando Sentinel, 1 Feb. 2023 Emily Ratajkowski, the Princess’s hair looked expensive, glossy, and oh-so-healthy. Hannah Coates, Vogue, 31 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'oh.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English o


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

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1936, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near oh

Cite this Entry

“Oh.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 interjection
variants or O
used to express an emotion (as astonishment or desire) or in response to a physical sensation (as pain)
used in direct address
Oh sir, you forgot your change
used to express understanding of a statement
oh, that's what you mean
used to introduce an example or a guess
there are probably, oh, six or seven different ways to do that


2 of 2 noun

More from Merriam-Webster on oh

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