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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. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for oft
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It makes no difference whether you are on duty or oft duty, so far as this Company is concerned.

  • When yet a child I oft have dried my tears when thou hast smil'd.

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

  • I oft sat beside him in the Circus or at the games last year.

    "Unto Caesar" Baroness Emmuska Orczy
  • oft have I seen the poor, miserable little one turn out not only the best, but biggest dog.

    The Dog Dinks, Mayhew, and Hutchinson
  • oft, oft, her ownself to destroy, Her own hand nature does employ.

    Romantic Ballads George Borrow
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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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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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