Definition of ought
—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 past indicative of owen
First Known Use: 13th centurySee Words from the same year
First Known Use of ought
OUGHT Defined for English Language Learners
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
Definition of ought for Students
1 —used to show duty You ought to obey your parents.
2 —used to show what it would be wise to do You ought to take care of that cough.
3 —used to show what is naturally expected They ought to be here by now.
4 —used to show what is correct You ought to get nine for the answer.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up ought? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).