ought to Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “ought to” in the English Dictionary

"ought to" in British English

See all translations

ought tomodal 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 ​followingverb: [+ infinitive] You ought to be ​kinder to him. We ought not/oughtn't to haveagreed without ​knowing what it would ​cost. "We ought to be getting ​ready now." "Yes, I ​guess we ought (to)."

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • 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 havearrived at ​lunchtime but the ​flight was ​delayed. If you show the ​receipt, there ought not to be any ​difficulty getting ​yourmoney back.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

(Definition of ought to from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of ought to?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“ought to” in British English

Word of the Day

hipster

someone who is very influenced by the most recent ideas and fashions

Word of the Day

Chest pains and palpitations: talking about illness (2)
Chest pains and palpitations: talking about illness (2)
by Liz Walter,
February 03, 2016
My previous post (My leg hurts: Talking about illness (1)) presented some general vocabulary to use at the doctor’s. This one looks at some more specific areas of illness and explains some useful words and phrases that you may need to use or understand on a visit to the doctor’s. There are several

Read More 

awesomesauce noun
awesomesauce noun
February 01, 2016
slang the state of being extremely good or enjoyable or something or someone that is extremely good or enjoyable Recovering from the awesomesauce of another fab #Vidcon!!

Read More