ought to definition, meaning - what is ought to in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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English definition of “ought to”

ought to

modal verb uk   /ˈɔːt ˌtə/  us   /ˈɑːt- /

ought to modal verb (DUTY)

B1 used to show when it is necessary or would be a good thing to perform the activity referred to by the following verb: [+ infinitive] You ought to be kinder to him. We ought not/oughtn't to have agreed without knowing what it would cost. "We ought to be getting ready now." "Yes, I suppose we ought (to)."
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ought to modal verb (PROBABLE)

B2 used to express something that you expect will happen: He ought to be home by seven o'clock. They ought to have arrived at lunchtime but the flight was delayed. If you show the receipt, there ought not/oughtn't to be any difficulty getting your money back.
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(Definition of ought to from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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