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[ohk] /oʊk/
any tree or shrub belonging to the genus Quercus, of the beech family, bearing the acorn as fruit.
the hard, durable wood of such a tree, used in making furniture and in construction.
the leaves of this tree, especially as worn in a chaplet.
anything made of the wood of this tree, as an item of furniture, a door, etc.
sport one's oak, British. (of a university student) to indicate that one is not at home to visitors by closing the outer door of one's lodgings.
Origin of oak
before 900; Middle English ook, Old English āc; cognate with Dutch eik, German Eiche
Related forms
oaklike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for oaks
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This meant a long detour of the swamp to approach the oaks from the west.

  • Overhead was the interwoven roof of oaks and ashes and beeches.

    Days Off Henry Van Dyke
  • Among these trees there was a great yew, far older than the oaks, and beneath it a dark and shadowy pool.

    The Secret Glory Arthur Machen
  • I have had about a bale of cotton stolen at the "oaks" since I put it in the cotton-house.

  • Then into the thicket he crashed, knocking the oaks, and cracking the brush.

  • In 1731, they attacked and destroyed most of the oaks in France.

British Dictionary definitions for oaks


noun (functioning as sing)
the Oaks, a horse race for fillies held annually at Epsom since 1779: one of the classics of English flat racing
any of various similar races
Word Origin
named after an estate near Epsom


any deciduous or evergreen tree or shrub of the fagaceous genus Quercus, having acorns as fruits and lobed leaves See also holm oak, cork oak, red oak, Turkey oak, durmast related adjective quercine
  1. the wood of any of these trees, used esp as building timber and for making furniture
  2. (as modifier): an oak table
any of various trees that resemble the oak, such as the poison oak, silky oak, and Jerusalem oak
  1. anything made of oak, esp a heavy outer door to a set of rooms in an Oxford or Cambridge college
  2. sport one's oak, to shut this door as a sign one does not want visitors
the leaves of an oak tree, worn as a garland
the dark brownish colour of oak wood
(Austral) any of various species of casuarina, such as desert oak, swamp oak, or she-oak
Word Origin
Old English āc; related to Old Norse eik, Old High German eih, Latin aesculus
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
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Word Origin and History for oaks



Old English ac "oak tree," from Proto-Germanic *aiks (cf. Old Norse eik, Old Saxon and Old Frisian ek, Middle Dutch eike, Dutch eik, Old High German eih, German Eiche), of uncertain origin with no certain cognates outside Germanic.

The usual Indo-European base for "oak" (*derwo-/*dreu-) has become Modern English tree. Used in Biblical translations to render Hebrew elah (probably usually "terebinth tree") and four other words. The Old Norse form was eik, but as there were no oaks in Iceland the word came to be used there for "tree" in general.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for oaks


Related Terms


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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