Definition of oughtn't in US English:

oughtn't

contraction

  • Ought not.

    • ‘You oughtn't to worry: a friend of mine took several months out to grow a really big, bushy beard for the specific purpose of having his passport photos taken: just for contrariness' sake - passport done, he shaved the beard off.’
    • ‘‘It's very unhealthy for our democracy that there oughtn't be a change in Government and there oughtn't be an alternative on offer,’ he said.’
    • ‘Food, exercise, ethics, morality… all of it involves giving up something that we want because we oughtn't have it.’
    • ‘Well I know we oughtn't to be there, but I can't get out.’
    • ‘There was one truly disgraceful performance of the day which oughtn't pass without comment.’
    • ‘You oughtn't be cold in May.’
    • ‘But I am conscious of the fact that I oughtn't to be doing it; it's not a very polite thing to do, to talk about yourself.’
    • ‘I know it's sinful, and I know I oughtn't, but I do love watching irate motorists who've been caught breaking parking regulations, especially able-bodied drivers who park across disabled parking bays.’
    • ‘I love him, and he loves me, and that ought to be enough, oughtn't it?’
    • ‘The movie was great - I laughed, I rolled my eyes, I jumped (just a little), and shook my head as the silly actors did what everyone in the audience knew they really oughtn't.’
    • ‘The floor of the cafe seemed suddenly brilliant to me, the bright wood vivid in the artificial light - tho’ perhaps I oughtn't to have indulged in that espresso, not at 7.30-ish in the evening.’
    • ‘Maybe I oughtn't to let the voices inside my head take control.’
    • ‘My opinion, of course, is that we oughtn't to legislate morality.’
    • ‘Still, he succeeds in cleaning his plate, and thus salvages Australia's honour (which really oughtn't to depend on his consumption of curry).’
    • ‘But certain architectural styles and details spell ‘shelter’ for most people, and oughtn't we accommodate their wishes?’
    • ‘While at the Chicago Flood Control Conference in June 1927, he admitted that ‘he hadn't been well and oughtn't to be at the conference, but he couldn't resist taking part in one of the outstanding problems of the nation.’’
    • ‘But I've actually seen commentators, left and right, arguing that they oughtn't to be advocating it.’
    • ‘However, watching his story being told on celluloid, and appreciating it for the nobility of purpose at its core, that oughtn't to be too hard.’
    • ‘Accordingly, an effective way to keep sly felines out of places they oughtn't be is by using strong pulsating ultrasonic waves, inaudible to the human ear.’
    • ‘‘We ought to file that under ‘Educational’ too, oughtn't we?’’

Pronunciation

oughtn't

/ˈɔtnt//ˈôtnt/