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Oath (&ō;th), n.; pl. Oaths (&ō;&thlig_;z). [OE. othe, oth, ath, AS. &ā;ð; akin to D. eed, OS. &ē;ð, G. eid, Icel. eiðr, Sw. ed, Dan. eed, Goth. aiþs; cf. OIr. oeth.] 1. A solemn affirmation or declaration, made with a reverent appeal to God for the truth of what is affirmed. “I have an oath in heaven” Shak.
An oath of secrecy for the concealing of those [inventions] which we think fit to keep secret. Bacon.
2. A solemn affirmation, connected with a sacred object, or one regarded as sacred, as the temple, the altar, the blood of Abel, the Bible, the Koran, etc.
3. (Law) An appeal (in verification of a statement made) to a superior sanction, in such a form as exposes the party making the appeal to an indictment for perjury if the statement be false.
4. A careless and blasphemous use of the name of the divine Being, or anything divine or sacred, by way of appeal or as a profane exclamation or ejaculation; an expression of profane swearing. “A terrible oath” Shak.