Definition of oath in English:


Line breaks: oath
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.
  • 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.


my oath

Australian /NZ An exclamation of agreement or endorsement.
More 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.

More definitions of oath

Definition of oath in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrə(ʊ)ˈgeɪʃ(ə)n
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space