Ought meaning

ôt
Used to indicate obligation or duty.

You ought to work harder than that.

verb
6
7
Used to indicate advisability or prudence.

You ought to wear a raincoat.

verb
3
6
Used to indicate desirability.

You ought to have been there; it was great fun.

verb
2
5
Used to indicate probability or likelihood.

She ought to finish by next week.

verb
2
5
Anything whatever; aught.
noun
1
0
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(archaic) To any degree; at all; aught.
adverb
1
0
A nought; the figure zero (0)
noun
1
0
1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays, Folio Society 2006, vol. 1 p. 182.

Witnesse Aristippus, who being urged with the affection he ought his children, as proceeding from his loynes, began to spit [...].

verb
1
0
(auxiliary) Indicating duty or obligation.

I ought to vote in the coming election.

verb
1
0
(auxiliary) Indicating advisability or prudence.

You ought to stand back from the edge of the platform.

verb
1
0
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(auxiliary) Indicating desirability.

He ought to read the book; it was very good.

verb
1
0
(auxiliary) Indicating likelihood or probability.

We ought to arrive by noon if we take the motorway.

verb
1
0
Alternative spelling of aught. anything.
pronoun
1
0
Alternative spelling of aught. at all, to any degree.
adverb
1
0
A statement of what ought to be the case as contrasted to what is the case.
noun
1
0
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Alternative spelling of aught. cipher, zero, nought.
noun
1
0
To be compelled by obligation or duty.

He ought to pay his debts.

verb
1
1
To be bound by what is advisable or wise.

I ought to wear a warmer coat today.

verb
1
1
To be desirable.

You ought to meet us for dinner sometime.

verb
1
1
To be expected or likely.

It ought to be over soon.

verb
1
1
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Obligation or duty.
noun
1
1
Ought is defined as should, expected to or compelled by duty or desire.

An example of ought is someone feeling like they should take out the garbage, they ought to take out the garbage.

verb
0
1

Origin of ought

  • Middle English oughten to be obliged to from oughte owned from Old English āhte past tense of āgan to possess aik- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Old English āhte, past tense of āgan (“own, possess")

    From Wiktionary