oughtn't

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

ought +‎ -n't

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ɔːnt/, /ˈɔː.tənt/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈɔt.n̩t/, (cot-cought merger) /ˈɑt.n̩t/
    • (file)

Verb[edit]

oughtn't

  1. (Britain) (US, Canada, dated, rare) ought not (negative auxiliary[1]).

Usage notes[edit]

Oughtn't has become rare in North America, and ought not has itself become much less common than it once was there as well.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Arnold M. Zwicky and Geoffrey K. Pullum, Cliticization vs. Inflection: English n’t, Language 59 (3), 1983, pp. 502-513