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oh

[oh]
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interjection
  1. (used as an expression of surprise, pain, disapprobation, etc.)
  2. (used in direct address to attract the attention of the person spoken to): Oh, John, will you take these books?
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noun, plural oh's, ohs.
  1. the exclamation “oh.”
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verb (used without object)
  1. to utter or exclaim “oh.”
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Origin of oh

later spelling of O, from mid-16th century
Can be confusedO oh owe
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ohs

Historical Examples

  • And the procession chanted something sad with plenty of ohs!

    L'Assommoir

    Emile Zola

  • Some of the girls gave little gasps of surprise, others, ohs!

    Peggy Stewart at School

    Gabrielle E. Jackson

  • Very little was said, after Emily, interrupted by frequent “ohs!”

    Jessie Carlton

    Francis Forrester

  • A chorus of “ohs,” and “ahs,” and “dear mammas,” went round the table.

    The Inglises

    Margaret Murray Robertson

  • Ohs and ahs punctuated the air, women being the same in every land.

    Black Man's Burden

    Dallas McCord Reynolds


British Dictionary definitions for ohs

OH

abbreviation for
  1. Ohio
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oh

interjection
  1. an exclamation expressive of surprise, pain, pleasure, etc
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sentence connector
  1. an expression used to preface a remark, gain time, etcoh, I suppose so
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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 ohs

oh

1530s, interjection expressing various emotions, a common Indo-European word (e.g. Old French ô;, oh; Latin o, oh; Greek o; Old Church Slavonic and Lithuanian o; Gothic, Dutch, German o; Old Irish a; Sanskrit a), but not found in Old English, which translated Latin oh with la or eala.

The present tendency is to restrict oh to places where it has a certain independence, & prefer o where it is proclitic or leans forward upon what follows .... [Fowler]

Often extended for emphasis, e.g. Oh, baby, stock saying from c.1918; oh, boy (1910); oh, yeah (1924). Reduplicated form oh-oh as an expression of alarm or dismay is attested from 1944. Oh-so "so very" (often sarcastic or ironic) is from 1922. Oh yeah? "really? Is that so?" attested from 1930.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper