noun, plural oaths [ohthz, ohths] .
a solemn appeal to a deity, or to some revered person or thing, to witness one's determination to speak the truth, to keep a promise, etc.: to testify upon oath.
a statement or promise strengthened by such an appeal.
a formally affirmed statement or promise accepted as an equivalent of an appeal to a deity or to a revered person or thing; affirmation.
the form of words in which such a statement or promise is made.
an irreverent or blasphemous use of the name of God or anything sacred.
any profane expression; curse; swearword: He slammed the door with a muttered oath.
take an oath, to swear solemnly; vow.

before 900; Middle English ooth, Old English āth; cognate with German Eid

oaf, oath.

2. vow, pledge. 5. profanity.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
oath (əʊθ)
n , pl oaths
1.  a solemn pronouncement to affirm the truth of a statement or to pledge a person to some course of action, often involving a sacred being or object as witnessRelated: juratory
2.  the form of such a pronouncement
3.  an irreverent or blasphemous expression, esp one involving the name of a deity; curse
4.  on oath, upon oath, under oath
 a.  under the obligation of an oath
 b.  law having sworn to tell the truth, usually with one's hand on the Bible
5.  take an oath to declare formally with an oath or pledge, esp before giving evidence
Related: juratory
[Old English āth; related to Old Saxon, Old Frisian ēth, Old High German eid]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

O.E. að "oath, judicial swearing, solemn appeal to deity in witness of truth or a promise," from P.Gmc. *aithaz (cf. O.N. eiðr, Swed. ed, O.Fris. eth, Du. eed, Ger. eid, Goth. aiþs "oath"), from PIE *oi-to- "an oath" (cf. O.Ir. oeth "oath"). In ref. to careless invocations of divinity,
from c.1175.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

OATH definition

Object-oriented Abstract Type Hierarchy, a class library for C++ from Texas Instruments.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Bible Dictionary

Oath definition

a solemn appeal to God, permitted on fitting occasions (Deut. 6:13; Jer. 4:2), in various forms (Gen. 16:5; 2 Sam. 12:5; Ruth 1:17; Hos. 4:15; Rom. 1:9), and taken in different ways (Gen. 14:22; 24:2; 2 Chr. 6:22). God is represented as taking an oath (Heb. 6:16-18), so also Christ (Matt. 26:64), and Paul (Rom. 9:1; Gal. 1:20; Phil. 1:8). The precept, "Swear not at all," refers probably to ordinary conversation between man and man (Matt. 5:34,37). But if the words are taken as referring to oaths, then their intention may have been to show "that the proper state of Christians is to require no oaths; that when evil is expelled from among them every yea and nay will be as decisive as an oath, every promise as binding as a vow."

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Encyclopedia Britannica


sacred or solemn voluntary promise usually involving the penalty of divine retribution for intentional falsity and often used in legal procedures. It is not certain that the oath was always considered a religious act; such ancient peoples as the Germanic tribes, Greeks, Romans, and Scythians swore by their swords or other weapons. These peoples, however, were actually invoking a symbol of the power of a war god as a guarantee of their trustworthiness.

Learn more about oath with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
And advice givers-according to the secret oath they all take-are supposed to
  answer only the question that they're actually asked.
First, do no harm:Harvard business graduates take an oath to be ethical.
They get in because doctors everywhere swear the same oath.
Recently the guy next to me on the plane suddenly uttered an oath and stood up
  to reveal that his fountain pen had flooded.
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