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noun Slang.
  1. a movie, television show, etc., about the frontier days of the U.S. West; western; horse opera.
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Origin of oater

First recorded in 1945–50; oat + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Word Origin and History for oater


Western film, "horse opera," 1946, from oat, as the typical food of horses.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper