Ought
Owe Owe ([=o]), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Owed} ([=o]d), ({Ought} ([add]t) obs.); p. pr. & vb. n. {Owing} ([=o]"[i^]ng).] [OE. owen, awen, aghen, to have, own, have (to do), hence, owe, AS. [=a]gan to have; akin to G. eigen, a., own, Icel. eiga to have, Dan. eie, Sw. ["a]ga, Goth. ['a]igan, Skr. [imac][,c]. [root]110. Cf. {Ought}, v., 2d {Own}, {Fraught}.] 1. To possess; to have, as the rightful owner; to own. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

Thou dost here usurp The name thou ow'st not. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. To have or possess, as something derived or bestowed; to be obliged to ascribe (something to some source); to be indebted or obliged for; as, he owed his wealth to his father; he owed his victory to his lieutenants. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

O deem thy fall not owed to man's decree. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

3. Hence: To have or be under an obigation to restore, pay, or render (something) in return or compensation for something received; to be indebted in the sum of; as, the subject owes allegiance; the fortunate owe assistance to the unfortunate. [1913 Webster]

The one ought five hundred pence, and the other fifty. --Bible (1551). [1913 Webster]

A son owes help and honor to his father. --Holyday. [1913 Webster]

Note: Owe was sometimes followed by an objective clause introduced by the infinitive. ``Ye owen to incline and bow your heart.'' --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

4. To have an obligation to (some one) on account of something done or received; to be indebted to; as, to owe the grocer for supplies, or a laborer for services. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ought — [ ɔt ] modal verb *** Ought is usually followed by to and an infinitive: You ought to tell the truth. Sometimes it is used without to or a following infinitive in a formal way: I don t practice as often as I ought. It is also used in an informal… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Ought — Ought, imp., p. p., or auxiliary. [Orig. the preterit of the verb to owe. OE. oughte, aughte, ahte, AS. [=a]hte. [root]110. See {Owe}.] 1. Was or were under obligation to pay; owed. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] This due obedience which they ought to the …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ought — In current use the verb ought is followed by a to infinitive: • You ought to have a cooked breakfast, these cold mornings David Lodge, 1988. Since it is a modal verb, it forms a negative directly with not and forms a question by plain inversion:… …   Modern English usage

  • ought — ought1 [ôt] v.aux. used with infinitives and meaning: 1. to be compelled by obligation or duty [he ought to pay his debts ] or by desirability [you ought to eat more] 2. to be expected or likely [it ought to be over soon]: Past time is expressed… …   English World dictionary

  • ought — ► MODAL VERB (3rd sing. present and past ought) 1) used to indicate duty or correctness. 2) used to indicate something that is probable. 3) used to indicate a desirable or expected state. 4) used to give or ask advice. USAGE The standard… …   English terms dictionary

  • ought — ought·lins; ought·ness; ought; …   English syllables

  • Ought — ([add]t), n. & adv. See {Aught}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ought — [[t]ɔ͟ːt[/t]] ♦♦♦ (Ought to is a phrasal modal verb. It is used with the base form of a verb. The negative form of ought to is ought not to, which is sometimes shortened to oughtn t to in spoken English.) 1) PHR MODAL You use ought to to mean… …   English dictionary

  • ought */*/*/ — UK [ɔːt] / US [ɔt] modal verb Summary: Ought is usually followed by to and an infinitive: You ought to tell the truth. Sometimes it is used without to or a following infinitive in a formal way: I don t practise as often as I ought. It is also… …   English dictionary

  • ought — ought1 /awt/, auxiliary verb. 1. (used to express duty or moral obligation): Every citizen ought to help. 2. (used to express justice, moral rightness, or the like): He ought to be punished. You ought to be ashamed. 3. (used to express propriety …   Universalium

  • ought*/*/*/ — [ɔːt] modal verb summary: ■ Ought is usually followed by ‘to and an infinitive: You ought to tell the truth. Sometimes it is followed by ‘to but no following infinitive: I don t spend as much time with them as I ought to. ■ Ought has no tenses,… …   Dictionary for writing and speaking English

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