Meaning of “ought” in the English Dictionary

american-english dictionary
Contents

"ought" in American English

See all translations

oughtmodal verb [ + to infinitive ]

us /ɔt/ present tense ought

ought modal verb [ + to infinitive ] (DUTY)

used to say that it is necessary or desirable to perform the action expressed in the verb:

We ought to clean up before we go home.
She really ought to apologize.

ought modal verb [ + to infinitive ] (PROBABLE)

used to say that the action expressed 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 known better.

(Definition of “ought” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)