a cereal grass, Avena sativa, cultivated for its edible seed.
Usually oats. (used with a singular or plural verb) the seed of this plant, used as a food for humans and animals.
any of several plants of the same genus, as the wild oat.
Archaic. a musical pipe made of an oat straw.

Nearby words

  1. oasis,
  2. oasitic,
  3. oast,
  4. oast-house,
  5. oastler,
  6. oat cell,
  7. oat cell carcinoma,
  8. oat grass,
  9. oatcake,
  10. oaten


    feel one's oats, Informal.
    1. to feel frisky or lively.
    2. to be aware of and use one's importance or power.
    sow one's wild oats. wild oat(def 3).

Origin of oat

before 900; Middle English ote, Old English āte

Related formsoat·like, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for oatlike



an erect annual grass, Avena sativa, grown in temperate regions for its edible seed
(usually plural) the seeds or fruits of this grass
any of various other grasses of the genus Avena, such as the wild oat
poetic a flute made from an oat straw
feel one's oats US and Canadian informal
  1. to feel exuberant
  2. to feel self-important
get one's oats slang to have sexual intercourse
sow one's oats or sow one's wild oats to indulge in adventure or promiscuity during youth

Word Origin for oat

Old English āte, of obscure origin

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

Word Origin and History for oatlike


Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper