ought to


ought to
ought to
W2S1 [ˈo:t tu: US ˈo:t-] modal v
[: Old English; Origin: ahte, past tense of agan; OWE]
1.) used to say that someone should do something because it is the best or most sensible thing to do
= ↑should
You really ought to quit smoking.
The company ought to be making changes in its marketing strategy.
What sort of crimes ought the police to concentrate on?
You were out enjoying yourself when you ought to have been studying.
2.) used to make a suggestion about something you think is a good idea, especially in a social situation
= ↑should
We ought to get together some time soon.
You ought to meet him; he's really nice.
We ought to get her some flowers for her birthday.
I ought to call Brian.
3.) used to say that someone should do something or something should happen, because it is morally right or fair
= ↑should
You ought to be ashamed of yourself.
The courts ought to treat black and white defendants in exactly the same way.
Many people felt that America ought not to take part in the war.
4.) used to say that you think something will probably happen, is probably true etc
= ↑should
He left two hours ago, so he ought to be there by now.
They ought to win - they've trained hard enough.
That ought to be enough potatoes for eight people.
New technology ought to make this easier.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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 To Go — Breed Quarter Horse Discipline Racing Sire Go Man Go Grandsire …   Wikipedia

  • 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|n't — «AWT uhnt», ought not …   Useful english dictionary

  • 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