American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A solemn, formal declaration or promise to fulfill a pledge, often calling on God, a god, or a sacred object as witness.
- n. The words or formula of such a declaration or promise.
- n. Something declared or promised.
- n. An irreverent or blasphemous use of the name of God or something held sacred.
- n. An imprecation; a curse.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A solemn appeal to the Supreme Being in attestation of the truth of some statement or the binding character of some covenant, undertaking, or promise; an outward pledge that one's testimony or promise is given under an immediate sense of responsibility to God.
- n. The form of words in which such attestation is made. Oaths are of two kinds: assertory oaths, or those by which something is asserted as true, and
- n. A light or blasphemous use of the name of the Divine Being, or of anything associated with the more sacred matters of religion, by way of appeal, imprecation, or ejaculation.
- n. Loosely — An ejaculation similar in form to an oath, but in which the name of God or of anything sacred is not used.
- n. An imprecation, differing from a curse in its less formal and more exclamatory character: it may be humorous, or even affectionate, among rude and free-living men.
- n. An exclamatory word or phrase, usually without appropriateness to the subject in hand, expressing surprise, and generally displeasure, though sometimes even approval or admiration. It may refer to something sacred, and even be what is called blasphemous, but is often wholly unmeaning, or is a corruption or softening of an originally blasphemous expression, as zounds! for God's (Christ's) wounds, egad for by God, etc.
- To make to take an oath; put to the oath.
- To use as an oath; swear by.
- To call, speak to, or curse with an oath.
- To swear; use oaths.
- n. A solemn pledge or promise to a god, king, or another person, to attest to the truth of a statement or contract
- n. the affirmed statement or promise accepted as equivalent to an oath
- n. A light or insulting use of a solemn pledge or promise to a god, king or another person, to attest to the truth of a statement or contract the name of a deity in a profanity, as in swearing oaths
- n. a curse
- n. law An affirmation of the truth of a statement.
- v. archaic To pledge.
- v. Shouting out. (as in 'oathing obsenities')
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A solemn affirmation or declaration, made with a reverent appeal to God for the truth of what is affirmed.
- n. A solemn affirmation, connected with a sacred object, or one regarded as sacred, as the temple, the altar, the blood of Abel, the Bible, the Koran, etc.
- n. (Law) An appeal (in verification of a statement made) to a superior sanction, in such a form as exposes the party making the appeal to an indictment for perjury if the statement be false.
- n. A careless and blasphemous use of the name of the divine Being, or anything divine or sacred, by way of appeal or as a profane exclamation or ejaculation; an expression of profane swearing.
- n. a commitment to tell the truth (especially in a court of law); to lie under oath is to become subject to prosecution for perjury
- n. a solemn promise, usually invoking a divine witness, regarding your future acts or behavior
- n. profane or obscene expression usually of surprise or anger
- From Middle English ooth, oth, ath, from Old English āþ ("oath"), from Proto-Germanic *aiþaz (“oath”), from Proto-Indo-European *oyt- (“oath”). Cognate with Scots aith, athe ("oath"), North Frisian ith, iss ("oath"), West Frisian eed ("oath"), Dutch eed ("oath"), German Eid ("oath"), Swedish ed ("oath"), Icelandic eið ("oath"), Latin ūtor ("use, employ, avail"), Old Irish óeth ("oath"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English oth, from Old English āth. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Flemyng mentions, in a letter to Cecil, November 29, 1563, that O'Neill told him, when about to take the oaths of his people to an agreement with the Queen, that "Cusack did not give them their oath so, _but let me give them their oath_.”
“Council-General, -- some of which depositions were upon oath, some upon honor, and others neither upon _oath_ nor _honor_, but all or most of which were of an irregular and irrelevant nature, and not fit or decent to be taken by a British magistrate, or to be transmitted to a British government.”
“Hastings objected to his being put to his oath; that the question was nevertheless put to him, in consequence of a resolution of the board; that he first declined to swear, under pretence _that it was a matter of serious consequence to his character to take an oath_, and, when it was finally left to his option, he declared, "Mean people might swear, but that his character would not allow him, -- that he could not swear, and had rather subject himself to a loss.”
“V. iii.129 (478,1) Behold, it is the privilege of mine honours,/My oath, and my profession] The _privilege_ of this _oath_ means the privilege gained by taking the oath administered in the regular initiation of a knight professed.”
“This was an old Roman custom, and apparently what they said for an oath translates as "Bet your testicles that I am telling the truth, your honor.”
“The day he took the oath is the day we came of age.”
“Their oath is to do no harm, but they haven't even spoken about healthcare reform before now.”
“March 18th, 2010 at 11: 43 am jbrantow says: sorry iw local … but the doctors oath is to treat the ill, not kick them out of the er.”
“March 18th, 2010 at 11: 47 am iw local 03 says: jbrantow says: sorry iw local … but the doctors oath is to treat the ill, not kick them out of the er.”
“Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms.”
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