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The Collaborative International Dictionary

OE \[OE]\ ([=e]), a diphthong, employed in the Latin language, and thence in the English language, as the representative of the Greek diphthong oi. In many words in common use, e alone stands instead of [oe]. Classicists prefer to write the diphthong oe separate in Latin words.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

found in Greek borrowings into Latin, representing Greek -oi-. Words with -oe- that came early into English from Old French or Medieval Latin usually already had been levelled to -e- (economic, penal, cemetery), but later borrowings directly from Latin or Greek tended to retain it at first (oestrus, diarrhoea, amoeba) as did proper names (Oedipus, Phoebe, Phoenix) and purely technical terms. British English tends to be more conservative with it than American, which has done away with it in all but a few instances.\n

\nIt also occurred in some native Latin words (foedus "treaty, league," foetere "to stink," hence occasionally in English foetid, foederal, which was the form in the original publications of the "Federalist" papers). In these it represents an ancient -oi- in Old Latin (for example Old Latin oino, Classical Latin unus), which apparently passed through an -oe- form before being leveled out but was preserved into Classical Latin in certain words, especially those belonging to the realms of law (such as foedus) and religion, which, along with the vocabulary of sailors, are the most conservative branches of any language in any time, through a need for precision, immediate comprehension, demonstration of learning, or superstition. But in foetus it was an unetymological spelling in Latin that was picked up in English and formed the predominant spelling of fetus into the early 20c.


n. (context literary or poetic rare English) A small island.


Ø (or minuscule: ø) is a vowel and a letter used in the Danish, Norwegian, Faroese, and Southern Sami languages. It is mostly used as a representation of mid front rounded vowels, such as [ø] and [œ], except for Southern Sami where it is used as an [oe] diphthong.

The name of this letter is the same as the sound it represents (see usage). Though not its native name, among English-speaking typographers the symbol may be called a "slashed o" or "o with stroke". Although these names suggest it is a ligature or a diacritical variant of the letter o, it is considered a separate letter in Norwegian and Danish, and it is alphabetized after "z"—thus z, æ, ø, and å.

In other languages that do not have the letter as part of the regular alphabet, or in limited character sets such as ASCII, ø is frequently replaced with the digraph “oe”.

ø (lower case) is also used in the International Phonetic Alphabet to represent a close-mid front rounded vowel.


Œ (minuscule: œ) is a Latin alphabet grapheme, a ligature of o and e. In medieval and early modern Latin, it was used to represent the Greek diphthong οι, a usage which continues in English and French. In French, it is also used in some non-Latin words.

It is used in the modern orthography for Old West Norse and is used in the International Phonetic Alphabet to represent the open-mid front rounded vowel. In English runology, œ is used to transliterate the Runic letter odal , and so œ is sometimes called , or (from 'estate, ancestral home').


Oe or OE may refer to:

Oe (Cyrillic)

Oe or barred O (Ө ө; italics: Ө ө) is a letter of the Cyrillic script.

Ø (disambiguation)

Ø (and ø) is a Scandinavian vowel letter.

Ø, (a circle crossed by a diagonal slash) etc. may also refer to:

Ōe (surname)

Ōe, Oe or Ooe (written: 大江 lit. "large bay") is a Japanese surname. Notable people with the surname include:

  • Princess Ōe, princess of ancient Japan
  • Tatsuya Oe Captain Funk, Japanese electronic musician
  • Kenzaburo Oe, Japanese novelist
  • Hikari Oe, the son of Kenzaburo Oe
  • Momoe Oe, Japanese professional wrestler
Oe (hangul)

is one of the Korean hangul. The Unicode for ㅚ is U+315A.

Ø (Disambiguation)

Ø (Disambiguation) is the seventh studio album by American metalcore band Underoath. Released on November 9, 2010, through Tooth & Nail Records, the album was the band's only without founding member Aaron Gillespie, and is the first and only record by the band with Daniel Davison, formerly of Norma Jean. It was also their final album before a two-year breakup from 2013 to 2015. Ø (Disambiguation) was met with a high amount of acclaim and was recorded at Glow in the Dark Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, the same studio where the band's previous album, Lost in the Sound of Separation was recorded.

Usage examples of "oe".

Thrace, and wind through the defiles, and over the mountains of Macedonia, coast the clear waves of the Peneus, cross the Larissean plain, pass the straits of Thermopylae, and ascending in succession Oeta and Parnassus, descend to the fertile plain of Athens.