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  1. Office of Economic Stabilization.
  2. Order of the Eastern Star.

O, o

noun, plural O's or Os; o's or os or oes.
  1. the fifteenth letter of the English alphabet, a vowel.
  2. any spoken sound represented by the letter O or o, as in box, note, short, or love.
  3. something having the shape of an O.
  4. a written or printed representation of the letter O or o.
  5. a device, as a printer's type, for reproducing the letter O or o.


noun Scot.
  1. oy2.


  1. (used before a name in direct address, especially in solemn or poetic language, to lend earnestness to an appeal): Hear, O Israel!
  2. (used as an expression of surprise, pain, annoyance, longing, gladness, etc.)
noun, plural O's.
  1. the exclamation “O.”

Origin of O

1125–75; Middle English < Old French < Latin ō
Can be confusedO oh owe


or oe

noun Scot.
  1. a grandchild.
  2. Obsolete. a nephew or niece.

Origin of oy2

1425–75; late Middle English (north and Scots) o(o), oy(e) < Scots Gaelic ogha; see O'
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for oes

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British Dictionary definitions for oes



noun plural o's, O's or Os
  1. the 15th letter and fourth vowel of the modern English alphabet
  2. any of several speech sounds represented by this letter, in English as in code, pot, cow, move, or form
  3. another name for nought


symbol for
  1. oersted


abbreviation for
  1. Old English (language)

  1. Kenzaburo (kɛnzəˈbʊrəʊ). born 1935, Japanese novelist and writer; his books include The Catch (1958), A Personal Matter (1964), and Silent Cry (1989): Nobel prize for literature 1994


symbol for
  1. chem oxygen
  2. a human blood type of the ABO groupSee universal donor
  3. logic a particular negative categorial proposition, such as some men are not married: often symbolized as SoPCompare A, E, I 2
abbreviation for
  1. Australian slang offence

Word Origin

(for sense 3) from Latin (neg) o I deny


  1. a variant spelling of oh
  2. an exclamation introducing an invocation, entreaty, wish, etcO God!; O for the wings of a dove!
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for oes


interjection of fear, surprise, admiration, etc.; see oh.


blood type, 1926, originally "zero," denoting absence of A and B agglutinogens.


found in Greek borrowings into Latin, representing Greek -oi-. Words with -oe- that came early into English from Old French or Medieval Latin usually already had been levelled to -e- (e.g. economic, penal, cemetery), but later borrowings directly from Latin or Greek tended to retain it at first (oestrus, diarrhoea, amoeba) as did proper names (Oedipus, Phoebe, Phoenix) and purely technical terms. British English tends to be more conservative with it than American, which has done away with it in all but a few instances.

It also occurred in some native Latin words (foedus "treaty, league," foetere "to stink," hence occasionally in English foetid, foederal, which was the form in the original publications of the "Federalist" papers). In these it represents an ancient -oi- in Old Latin (e.g. Old Latin oino, Classical Latin unus), which apparently passed through an -oe- form before being levelled out but was preserved into Classical Latin in certain words, especially those belonging to the realms of law (e.g. foedus) and religion, which, along with the vocabulary of sailors, are the most conservative branches of any language in any time, through a need for precision, immediate comprehension, demonstration of learning, or superstition. But in foetus it was an unetymological spelling in Latin that was picked up in English and formed the predominant spelling of fetus into the early 20c.


Yiddish exclamation of dismay, 1892, American English. Extended form oy vey (1959) includes Yiddish vey, from German Weh "woe" (see woe).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

oes in Science


  1. The symbol for oxygen.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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