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See more synonyms for oh on Thesaurus.com
  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

Related Words

dear, woe, gee, oh, no, exclamation, wow, amen, hello, alas, boo, hurrah, ahem, whoopee, hooray, shucks, er, sorry, uh-oh, ouch

Examples from the Web for ohs

Historical Examples

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


    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


abbreviation for
  1. Ohio
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  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


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