- a long shaft with a broad blade at one end, used as a lever for rowing or otherwise propelling or steering a boat.
- something resembling this or having a similar purpose.
- a person who rows; oarsman.
- to propel with or as if with oars; row.
- to traverse or make (one's way) by, or as if by, rowing.
- to row.
- to move or advance as if by rowing.
- put in one's oar, to meddle; interfere: He put in his oar and was told to mind his own business.
- rest on one's oars, to cease to make an effort; relax after exertion; stop working after success or completing a task: Once he became president, he was content to rest on his oars.
Origin of oar
before 900; Middle English ore, Old English ār; cognate with Old Norse ār
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- a long shaft of wood for propelling a boat by rowing, having a broad blade that is dipped into and pulled against the water. Oars were also used for steering certain kinds of ancient sailing boats
- short for oarsman
- put one's oar in to interfere or interrupt
- to row or propel with or as if with oarsthe two men were oaring their way across the lake
Word Origin for oar
Old English ār, of Germanic origin; related to Old Norse ār
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 rest on one's oars
Old English ar "oar," from Proto-Germanic *airo (cf. Old Norse ar, Danish aare, Swedish åra), of unknown origin; perhaps related to Latin remus "oar," Greek eretes "rower," eretmos "oar."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Idioms and Phrases with rest on one's oars
see put one's oar in.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.