Definitions for: Ought


[v] expresses an emotional, practical, or other reason for doing something; "You had better put on warm clothes"; "You should call your mother-in-law"; "The State ought to repair the bridges"
[v] be logically necessary



Webster (1913) Definition: Ought ([add]t), n. & adv.
See Aught.


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.]

This due obedience which they ought to the king.
--Tyndale.

The love and duty I long have ought you. --Spelman.

[He] said . . . you ought him a thousand pound.
--Shak.

2. Owned; possessed. [Obs.]

The knight the which that castle ought. --Spenser.

3. To be bound in duty or by moral obligation.

We then that are strong ought to bear the
infirmities of the weak. --Rom. xv. 1.

4. To be necessary, fit, becoming, or expedient; to behoove;
-- in this sense formerly sometimes used impersonally or
without a subject expressed. ``Well ought us work.''
--Chaucer.

To speak of this as it ought, would ask a volume.
--Milton.

Ought not Christ to have suffered these things?
--Luke xxiv.
26.

Note: Ought is now chiefly employed as an auxiliary verb,
expressing fitness, expediency, propriety, moral
obligation, or the like, in the action or state
indicated by the principal verb.

Syn: Ought, Should.

Usage: Both words imply obligation, but ought is the
stronger. Should may imply merely an obligation of
propriety, expendiency, etc.; ought denotes an
obligation of duty.

Synonyms: had better, must, need, should

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