1

ought

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auxiliary verb \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 and Etymology of ought

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


First Known Use: 12th century


2

ought

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verb \ˈȯ(ḵ)t\

Definition of ought

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 chiefly Scotland :  possess

  3. 2 chiefly Scotland :  owe

Origin and Etymology of ought

Middle English oughte, 1st & 3rd 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

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\ˈȯt, ˈät\

Definition of ought

  1. archaic spelling of aught



OUGHT Defined for English Language Learners

2

ought

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verb \ˈȯ(ḵ)t\

Definition of ought for English Language Learners

  • —used to indicate what is expected

  • —used to say or suggest what should be done


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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