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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce oath (audio)

Dictionary definition of oath

A solemn, formal, and binding declaration made by an individual, often invoking a divine power or an entity of great significance.
"The doctor took an oath to prioritize patient well-being and uphold medical ethics."

Detailed meaning of oath

It involves a person affirming the truthfulness of their statements or promising to fulfill certain obligations while acknowledging the consequences of violating the oath. Oaths are typically taken in important or sacred settings, such as courts of law, religious ceremonies, or official ceremonies, to emphasize the seriousness and significance of the commitment being made. They serve as a means to establish trust, accountability, and loyalty. Oaths are often accompanied by rituals or symbolic actions to reinforce their gravity and demonstrate the sincerity of the person taking the oath. Breaking an oath is considered a breach of trust and can have legal, social, or moral consequences. The purpose of an oath is to bind individuals to their word and ensure the integrity of their actions and intentions.

Example sentences containing oath

1. The new president took an oath to uphold the constitution and serve the nation.
2. Witnesses in court are required to swear an oath to tell the truth.
3. The doctor took an oath to prioritize the well-being and health of their patients.
4. Members of the military swear an oath to defend their country against all enemies.
5. The secret society required its members to take a solemn oath of loyalty.
6. The student council president recited an oath during their inauguration ceremony.

History and etymology of oath

The word 'oath' carries a venerable etymology rooted in the solemnity of promises and commitments. Its origin can be traced back to Old English, where it was known as 'āð,' meaning a solemn or binding declaration. This Old English term evolved from the Proto-Germanic word '*aiþaz,' which had similar connotations of a solemn promise or pledge. The concept of an oath has deep historical and cultural significance, often invoking divine powers or entities of great importance as witnesses to one's commitment. The etymology of 'oath' reflects the profound reverence and seriousness with which such declarations have been regarded throughout human history, emphasizing their binding nature and the consequences of breaking them.

Quiz: Find the meaning of oath

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Further usage examples of oath

1. Before testifying in court, the witness was asked to take an oath on the Bible.
2. The police officer took an oath to protect and serve the community.
3. The astronaut pledged an oath of commitment to the space program.
4. The athletes recited an oath of fair play and sportsmanship before the competition.
5. The judge administered the oath of office to the newly elected officials.
6. The members of the jury swore an oath to deliver a fair and impartial verdict.
7. The lawyer made their case based on the violation of a sworn oath.
8. In the ceremony, the recruits took an oath to defend their comrades and follow orders.
9. The initiation ceremony involved reciting an oath of allegiance to the fraternity.
10. The president-elect delivered their inaugural address after taking the oath of office.
11. The citizen took an oath to become a naturalized citizen of their new country.
12. The healthcare professional upheld their oath of patient confidentiality.
13. The wedding officiant guided the couple through their marriage vows and exchange of oaths.
14. Before assuming the position, the CEO had to sign an oath of confidentiality.



pledge, betrayal, disavowal, denial


ACT 12 (American College Testing), Obligation and Allegiance, Sacred and Profane

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