Ought

Ought

, imp., p. p., or auxiliary. [Orig. the preterit of the verb to owe. OE. oughte, aughte, ahte, AS. hte. 110. See Owe.] 1. Was or were under obligation to pay; owed. [Obs.]
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This due obedience which they ought to the king.
Tyndale.
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The love and duty I long have ought you.
Spelman.
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[He] said . . . you ought him a thousand pound.
Shak.
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2. Owned; possessed. [Obs.]
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The knight the which that castle ought.
Spenser.
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3. To be bound in duty or by moral obligation.
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We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak.
Rom. xv. 1.
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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.
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To speak of this as it ought, would ask a volume.
Milton.
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Ought not Christ to have suffered these things?
Luke xxiv. 26.
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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.
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Syn. -- Ought, Should. 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.
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Sun 16th December 2018