oath


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Related to oath: Hippocratic oath, Oath of allegiance

oath,

vocal affirmation of the truth of one's statements, generally made by appealing to a deity. From the earliest days of human history, calling upon the gods of a community to witness the truth of a statement or the solemnity of a promise has been commonly practiced. The force of the oath depends on the belief that supernatural powers will punish falsehood spoken under oath or the violation of a promise. The oath thus performs wide legal and quasi-legal functions. It was the basis of the medieval process of compurgationcompurgation
, in medieval law, a complete defense. A defendant could establish his innocence or nonliability by taking an oath and by getting a required number of persons to swear they believed his oath.
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. It is still used in legal proceedings today: Thus, a jury is sworn in, and a witness takes an oath before testifying. In modern times, the force of the oath is strengthened by punishment for perjuryperjury
, in criminal law, the act of willfully and knowingly stating a falsehood under oath or under affirmation in judicial or administrative proceedings. If the person accused of perjury had any probable cause for his belief that the statement he made was true, then he is not
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. Difficulties have arisen in cases of atheists or of persons with religious scruples against oath-taking (e.g., Quakers), but statutes have now generally been modified so that a witness may affirm his intention to tell the truth without appealing to a deity. The main classes of oaths are the assertory oath, which concerns past or present facts, and the promissory oath, which refers to future conduct (such as that taken by an alien upon naturalization or by a high government official on assuming office). In the 1950s, fear of Communist subversion led many governmental and educational institutions to institute loyalty oaths, which required employees to swear to their non-membership in the Communist party or other presumptively subversive organizations. In the 1960s these loyalty oath requirements were invalidated by the Supreme Court.

oath

1. on, upon, or under oath
a. Law having sworn to tell the truth, usually with one's hand on the Bible
2. take an oath to declare formally with an oath or pledge, esp before giving evidence

OATH

Object-oriented Abstract Type Hierarchy, a class library for C++ from Texas Instruments.

OATH

(1) (Oath) The name of the Yahoo and AOL divisions of Verizon. See Yahoo.

(2) (OATH) (Initiative for Open AuTHentication) A collaboration of security companies devoted to developing strong, standard authentication methods on the Internet.

(2) (OAuth) (Open standard for AUTHorization) A standard that allows a third-party website to gain access to resources without exchanging username and password, providing both sites support OAuth. The third-party site requests a token from the site that holds the user's resources, and if the user authorizes the transaction, a temporary access token is issued to the requesting site.
References in classic literature ?
So Tom got out a sheet of paper that he had wrote the oath on, and read it.
I will take my oath he never dropt a syllable of being tired of her, or of wishing to marry Miss Morton, or any thing like it.
I do; and if an oath is necessary to satisfy you, I swear it.
Solacing his indignation by an oath, Captain Wragge sullenly went into one of the parlors on the ground-floor to look after his wife.
The Dover mail was in its usual genial position that the guard suspected the passengers, the passengers suspected one another and the guard, they all suspected everybody else, and the coachman was sure of nothing but the horses; as to which cattle he could with a clear conscience have taken his oath on the two Testaments that they were not fit for the journey.
The only subject, she informed me, on which he ever showed a violent temper or swore an oath, was this generosity of his; and if it were ever referred to, by any one of them, he struck the table a heavy blow with his right hand (had split it on one such occasion), and swore a dreadful oath that he would be 'Gormed' if he didn't cut and run for good, if it was ever mentioned again.
Once I stepped out myself into the road, but he immediately called me back, and as I did not obey quick enough for his fancy, a most horrible change came over his tallowy face, and he ordered me in with an oath that made me jump.
In this strait it occurred to me that these people, however barbarous, have some oath which they keep with an inviolable strictness; the best precaution, therefore, that I could use would be to bind them by this oath to be true to their engagements.
Fellow citizens of the United States: in compliance with a custom as old as the government itself, I appear before you to address you briefly and to take, in your presence, the oath prescribed by the Constitution of the United States, to be taken by the President "before he enters on the execution of his office.
The trembling clown replied that as he lived and by the oath he had sworn (though he had not sworn any) it was not so much; for there were to be taken into account and deducted three pairs of shoes he had given him, and a real for two blood-lettings when he was sick.
As a further provision for the efficacy of the federal powers, they took an oath mutually to defend and protect the united cities, to punish the violators of this oath, and to inflict vengeance on sacrilegious despoilers of the temple.
With an oath of pain and rage the man staggered backward, releasing his hold upon her and then sank unconscious to the ground.