The DICT Development Group

Search for:
Search type:

Database copyright information
Server information

1 definition found
 for O dear me!
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  O \O\ ([=o]), interj.
     An exclamation used in calling or directly addressing a
     person or personified object; also, as an emotional or
     impassioned exclamation expressing pain, grief, surprise,
     desire, fear, etc.
     [1913 Webster]
           For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. --Ps.
                                                    cxix. 89.
     [1913 Webster]
           O how love I thy law ! it is my meditation all the day.
                                                    --Ps. cxix.
     [1913 Webster]
     Note: O is frequently followed by an ellipsis and that, an in
           expressing a wish: "O [I wish] that Ishmael might live
           before thee!" --Gen. xvii. 18; or in expressions of
           surprise, indignation, or regret: "O [it is sad] that
           such eyes should e'er meet other object!" --Sheridan
           [1913 Webster]
     Note: A distinction between the use of O and oh is insisted
           upon by some, namely, that O should be used only in
           direct address to a person or personified object, and
           should never be followed by the exclamation point,
           while Oh (or oh) should be used in exclamations where
           no direct appeal or address to an object is made, and
           may be followed by the exclamation point or not,
           according to the nature or construction of the
           sentence. Some insist that oh should be used only as an
           interjection expressing strong feeling. The form O,
           however, is, it seems, the one most commonly employed
           for both uses by modern writers and correctors for the
           press. "O, I am slain!" --Shak. "O what a fair and
           ministering angel!" "O sweet angel !" --Longfellow.
           [1913 Webster]
                 O for a kindling touch from that pure flame!
           [1913 Webster]
                 But she is in her grave, -- and oh
                 The difference to me!              --Wordsworth.
           [1913 Webster]
                 Oh for a lodge in some vast wilderness! --Cowper.
           [1913 Webster]
                 We should distinguish between the sign of the
                 vocative and the emotional interjection, writing
                 O for the former, and oh for the latter. --Earle.
           [1913 Webster]
     O dear, & O dear me! [corrupted fr. F. O Dieu! or It. O
        Dio! O God! O Dio mio! O my God! --Wyman.], exclamations
        expressive of various emotions, but usually promoted by
        surprise, consternation, grief, pain, etc.
        [1913 Webster]

Contact=webmaster@dict.org Specification=RFC 2229