ought Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “ought” in the English Dictionary

"ought" in American English

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oughtmodal verb [+ to infinitive]

 us   /ɔt/ (present tense ought)
used to say that it is ​necessary or ​desirable to ​perform the ​actionexpressed in the ​verb: We ought to ​clean up before we go ​home. She really ought to ​apologize.
used to say that the ​actionexpressed in the ​verb is ​probable or ​expected: He ought to be ​home by seven o’clock. The ​curtains ought to be ​ready on ​Monday. At his ​age, he ought to have ​knownbetter.
(Definition of ought from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“ought” in American English

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