Definition of oath in English:

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Pronunciation: /əʊθ/

noun (plural oaths /əʊðz/)

1A solemn promise, often invoking a divine witness, regarding one’s future action or behaviour: they took an oath of allegiance to the king
More example sentences
  • From early days the taking of solemn religious oaths was regarded as an essential part of the political and social order.
  • For a few moments the couple find themselves in church or in the registry office watched by their closest family and friends, publicly swearing what amounts to a solemn oath of allegiance to each other.
  • Each individual undergoing treatment takes a solemn oath to change their behavior.
vow, sworn statement, promise, pledge, avowal, affirmation, attestation, word of honour, word, bond, guarantee, guaranty
archaic troth
1.1A sworn declaration, such as the promise to tell the truth, in a court of law: each took the oath and then gave evidence
More example sentences
  • But he could have given a statement to the court without swearing an oath, an option not pursued by his inexperienced lawyer.
  • Other than the preliminary vetting by the trial judge, there is a challenge for cause, peremptory challenges and the oath of the juror.
  • One of the sisters, Brenda, sobbed as she took the oath before giving evidence and when asked how close she was to her.
2A profane or offensive expression used to express anger or other strong emotions: he exploded with a mouthful of oaths he was muttering foul oaths
More example sentences
  • His oaths and anger had obviously offended Tori.
  • Shakespeare knew a thing or two about cursing - Hamlet is essentially a play about swearing and oaths, and in The Tempest, Caliban was taught language but learned to curse his master.
  • Cue for groans and muttered oaths from my neighbors, and that was before they'd stepped out on to Madison, where New York's finest were out in force, checking identities and blocking off half the streets of midtown.
swear word, profanity, expletive, four-letter word, dirty word, obscenity, imprecation, curse, malediction, blasphemy;
vulgarism, vulgarity;
swearing, bad/foul language, strong language
informal cuss, cuss word



my oath

Australian /NZ An exclamation of agreement or endorsement.
Example sentences
  • My oath, nationalism's on the rise.
  • This edition used the words ‘My oath!’ and the author was soundly admonished.

under (or British on) oath

Having sworn to tell the truth, especially in a court of law: he was made to testify under oath I would swear on oath that she had not seen me
More example sentences
  • He has also testified in a Canadian court under oath to tell the truth.
  • It would be more far-reaching than the original investigation because it would place bosses under oath to tell the truth.
  • I do not want to go into the story of the man who could not tell the truth under oath - at least that is what the High Court judge understood it to be.


Old English āth, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch eed and German Eid.

Words that rhyme with oath

both, growth, loath, quoth, sloth, Thoth, troth

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: oath

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