Language: Old English
Origin: ahte, past tense of agan; OWE

ought to

modal verb
ought to S1 W2
1 used to say that someone should do something because it is the best or most sensible thing to do [= should]:
You really ought to quit smoking.
The company ought to be making changes in its marketing strategy.
What sort of crimes ought the police to concentrate on?
You were out enjoying yourself when you ought to have been studying.
2 used to make a suggestion about something you think is a good idea, especially in a social situation [= should]:
We ought to get together some time soon.
You ought to meet him; he's really nice.
We ought to get her some flowers for her birthday.
I ought to call Brian.
3 used to say that someone should do something or something should happen, because it is morally right or fair [= should]:
You ought to be ashamed of yourself.
The courts ought to treat black and white defendants in exactly the same way.
Many people felt that America ought not to take part in the war.
4 used to say that you think something will probably happen, is probably true etc [= should]:
He left two hours ago, so he ought to be there by now.
They ought to win - they've trained hard enough.
That ought to be enough potatoes for eight people.
New technology ought to make this easier.

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