- any uncultivated species of Avena, especially a common weedy grass, A. fatua, resembling the cultivated oat.
- a hardy plant, Uvularia sessilifolia, of the lily family, of eastern North America, having deep green, hairy leaves and greenish-yellow, tubular flowers.
- sow one's wild oats, to have a youthful fling at reckless and indiscreet behavior, especially to be promiscuous before marriage.
Origin of wild oat
First recorded in 1490–1500
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for wild oat
If one could have it now in the wild-oat season; but that isn't to be expected.Norston's Rest
Ann S. Stephens
Get your wild-oat sowing done as soon as possible and come back.A Tatter of Scarlet
S. R. Crockett
Those of you who live near wild-rice or wild-oat marshes have a good chance to become acquainted with this Rail.
The Itinerary may well have been the production of his muse during his London wild-oat days.Literary Celebrities of the English Lake-District
- any of several temperate annual grasses of the genus Avena, esp A. fatua, that grow as weeds and have long bristles on their flower spikes