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oath

Definitions

  • Harold prepares to swear his oath in front of the court
    Harold prepares to swear his oath in front of the court
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n oath a commitment to tell the truth (especially in a court of law); to lie under oath is to become subject to prosecution for perjury
    • n oath profane or obscene expression usually of surprise or anger "expletives were deleted"
    • n oath a solemn promise, usually invoking a divine witness, regarding your future acts or behavior "they took an oath of allegiance"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Mary makes her oath on a Bible Mary makes her oath on a Bible

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The first book published in the United States was Massachusetts Bay Colony: The Oath of a Free Man, in 1638.
    • Oath A careless and blasphemous use of the name of the divine Being, or anything divine or sacred, by way of appeal or as a profane exclamation or ejaculation; an expression of profane swearing. "A terrible oath"
    • Oath A solemn affirmation or declaration, made with a reverent appeal to God for the truth of what is affirmed. "I have an oath in heaven""An oath of secrecy for the concealing of those [inventions] which we think fit to keep secret."
    • Oath A solemn affirmation, connected with a sacred object, or one regarded as sacred, as the temple, the altar, the blood of Abel, the Bible, the Koran, etc.
    • Oath (Law) An appeal (in verification of a statement made) to a superior sanction, in such a form as exposes the party making the appeal to an indictment for perjury if the statement be false.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: To take an oath, ancient Romans put a hand on their testicles?that?s where the word ?testimony? comes from.
    • n oath A solemn appeal to the Supreme Being in attestation of the truth of some statement or the binding character of some covenant, undertaking, or promise; an outward pledge that one's testimony or promise is given under an immediate sense of responsibility to God.
    • n oath The form of words in which such attestation is made. Oaths are of two kinds: assertory oaths, or those by which something is asserted as true, and
    • n oath A light or blasphemous use of the name of the Divine Being, or of anything associated with the more sacred matters of religion, by way of appeal, imprecation, or ejaculation.
    • n oath Loosely — An ejaculation similar in form to an oath, but in which the name of God or of anything sacred is not used.
    • n oath An imprecation, differing from a curse in its less formal and more exclamatory character: it may be humorous, or even affectionate, among rude and free-living men.
    • n oath An exclamatory word or phrase, usually without appropriateness to the subject in hand, expressing surprise, and generally displeasure, though sometimes even approval or admiration. It may refer to something sacred, and even be what is called blasphemous, but is often wholly unmeaning, or is a corruption or softening of an originally blasphemous expression, as zounds! for God's (Christ's) wounds, egad for by God, etc.
    • oath To make to take an oath; put to the oath.
    • oath To use as an oath; swear by.
    • oath To call, speak to, or curse with an oath.
    • oath To swear; use oaths.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Oath ōth a solemn statement with an appeal to God as witness, and a calling for punishment from Him in case of falsehood or of failure, also the form of words in which such is made—oath of abjuration, allegiance, &c.: an irreverent use of God's name in conversation or in any way: any merely exclamatory imprecation, &c.
    • ***

Quotations

  • Solon
    Solon
    “Put more trust in nobility of character than in an oath.”
  • Samuel Johnson
    Samuel%20Johnson
    “In lapidary inscriptions a man is not upon oath.”
  • Vittorio Alfieri
    Vittorio Alfieri
    “Liars are always ready to take oaths.”
  • Pierre Corneille
    Pierre%20Corneille
    “A liar is full of oaths.”
  • Simone Weil
    Simone%20Weil
    “There can be a true grandeur in any degree of submissiveness, because it springs from loyalty to the laws and to an oath, and not from baseness of soul.”
  • Aeschylus
    Aeschylus
    “It is not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man the oath.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. othe, oth, ath, AS. āð,; akin to D. eed, OS. ēð, G. eid, Icel. eiðr, Sw. ed, Dan. eed, Goth. aiþs,; cf. OIr. oeth,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. áth; Ger. eid, Ice. eithr.

Usage

In literature:

A man in red nightcap rushed forward with an oath.
"Heralds of Empire" by Agnes C. Laut
Preliminary oath and general oath, I should say.
"An Account of the Proceedings on the Trial of Susan B. Anthony" by Anonymous
And here you bring me word that I am to break my oath!
"One Hundred Merrie And Delightsome Stories" by Various
Now our earliest evidence, on oath, before a magistrate, is dated November 4, 1829.
"Historical Mysteries" by Andrew Lang
His oath forbids him to.
"The Poor Plutocrats" by Maurus Jókai
The Boy listened with keen ears to hear him rip out one of those terrible oaths of which so much had been said.
"The Victim" by Thomas Dixon
That was thirty years ago, and that oath has not yet been fulfilled.
"The Circular Study" by Anna Katharine Green
It is my oath that lies heavily upon me.
"With Kitchener in the Soudan" by G. A. Henty
The simplest of these processes was purgation by oath.
"The Customs of Old England" by F. J. Snell
Sometimes one took an oath for all the rest, and the others only said, the same oath that A.B.
"The Covenants And The Covenanters" by Various
THE OATH OF VENGEANCE.
"Napoleon and the Queen of Prussia" by L. Mühlbach,
She shall only live as my promised wife, bound to me by the most sacred oath that you can swear.
"The Romance of Golden Star ..." by George Chetwynd Griffith
Another coin whistled down to the porter, who, picking it up, shambled off with a last oath of warning to his enemy.
"Simon Dale" by Anthony Hope
FORMS OF JUDICIAL OATH.
"Notes and Queries, Number 184, May 7, 1853" by Various
Trample under foot my coronation oath?
"The Eagle of the Empire" by Cyrus Townsend Brady
Are there new oaths, still unused, oaths worn at the knees, patched oaths and ragged oaths?
"Napoleon the Little" by Victor Hugo
Come up, boys, and take the oath, and shame to them that hang back.
"Kilgorman" by Talbot Baines Reed
I could not live any longer under the shadow of this secret, bound by an oath.
"A Son of Hagar" by Sir Hall Caine
Finally Big Jack, with an oath, snatched up the lantern and threw open the door.
"The Huntress" by Hulbert Footner
Have I not strangled whatever nature is in me, and shall I not keep my oath?
"Vera" by Oscar Wilde
***

In poetry:

"And lo, these winds that rove the sea
Unto our pact shall witness be,
And of the oath which binds us both
Shall be the judge 'twixt me and thee!"
"Yvytot" by Eugene Field
The Surgeon swore as they enter'd his door,
'Twas fearful his oaths to hear,--
Now send these scoundrels to the Devil,
For God's sake my brethren dear.
"The Surgeon's Warning" by Robert Southey
Then all around was dark again,
And blacker than before;
But in that single flash of light
He had beheld a fearful sight,
And thought of the oath he swore.
"Tales Of A Wayside Inn : Part 2. The Musician's Tale; The Ballad of Carmilhan - IV. " by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Yet boasts his mind no shackles wears: ...
'Tis hard his solemn Oath to trust;
For, without future hopes and fears,
Know I if Conscience makes him just? ...
"The Culprit" by Nathaniel Bloomfield
And then he swore a dreadful oath,
He swore by the Kingdoms Three,
That, should he meet the Carmilhan,
He would run her down, although he ran
Right into Eternity!
"Tales Of A Wayside Inn : Part 2. The Musician's Tale; The Ballad of Carmilhan - II." by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"When that infant vow of love was spoken,
Venus' radiant temple smiled on both.
Mother! thou that promise since hast broken,
Fetter'd by a strange, deceitful oath.
"The Bride Of Corinth" by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

In news:

Two area Republicans who won House seats in the November general election have taken their oath of office.
Leavitt, who defeated Mayor Royce E Pollard in November, will take the oath of office from Clark County District Court Judge Darvin Zimmerman.
The oath of office will be given to three new aldermen who will join the council that evening: Nathan Adams, Roger Jeck and Jere Chapman.
It's the trend going into the election that matters a lot more than who takes the oath of office in January.
After taking that oath of office in this home on Delaware Avenue, Roosevelt would go on to change the role of the American presidency.
A man takes his oath of citizenship at naturalization ceremony for 7,362 immigrants at the Los Angeles Convention Center on June 27.
McCrory to take oath as NC governor on Jan 5.
Gerlach to take oath of office at next South Whidbey parks meeting.
New members of the Fort Dodge City Council and those who were re-elected will take the oath of office during a ceremony Tuesday morning.
Price Johnson, Homola to take oath of office Friday.
Tippecanoe County Judge Loretta Rush is scheduled to take the oath of office Wednesday during a private ceremony administered by Chief Justice Brent Dickson.
Virginia GOP party voter oath ' unenforceable, ' McDonnell says.
Jim Palmer takes oath of office from Raisin Township Clerk and trustee Betty Holdridge.
Four special police officers took the oaths Wednesday in the office of Vineland Mayor Robert Romano.
Being accepted into the inner sanctum of the mob demands from its members a blood oath of loyalty, known as "omerta".
***

In science:

Partly to allow more time for the tumultuous situation created in Berkeley by the anti-Communist loyalty oath to settle down, and partly to make a decision on an offer from Stanford, Erich spent the year of 1951–1952 as a visiting associate professor at Stanford.
Erich Leo Lehmann---A glimpse into his life and work
This lecture should be a victory song, but the pain makes it to sound more as a oath for vendetta, coming from Syracuse two milenia before.
Dream of a Christmas lecture
***