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[awft, oft] /ɔft, ɒft/
adverb, Literary.
Origin of oft
before 900; Middle English oft(e), Old English oft; cognate with Old Frisian ofta, Old Saxon oft(o), German oft, Old Norse opt Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for oft
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Historical Examples
  • It makes no difference whether you are on duty or oft duty, so far as this Company is concerned.

  • His oft quoted maxim was, "It is better to wear out than to rust out."

  • And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread.

  • Many a time and oft he has let me go to St. Penfer when it was raining and blowing.

    A Singer from the Sea Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
  • oft have I seen the poor, miserable little one turn out not only the best, but biggest dog.

    The Dog Dinks, Mayhew, and Hutchinson
  • And many a time and oft it do be coming and us not thinking of it.

    A Singer from the Sea Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
British Dictionary definitions for oft


short for often (archaic or poetic except in combinations such as oft-repeated and oft-recurring)
Word Origin
Old English oft; related to Old High German ofto


abbreviation (in Britain)
Office of Fair Trading
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for oft

Old English oft "often, frequently," from Proto-Germanic *ofta- "frequently" (cf. Old Frisian ofta, Danish ofte, Old High German ofto, German oft, Old Norse opt, Gothic ufta "often"), of unknown origin. Archaic except in compounds (e.g. oft-told), and replaced by its derivative often.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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