wild oat

  1. any uncultivated species of Avena, especially a common weedy grass, A. fatua, resembling the cultivated oat.

  2. a hardy plant, Uvularia sessilifolia, of the lily family, of eastern North America, having deep green, hairy leaves and greenish-yellow, tubular flowers.

Idioms about wild oat

  1. 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

Words Nearby wild oat

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use wild oat in a sentence

  • Get your wild-oat sowing done as soon as possible and come back.

    A Tatter of Scarlet | S. R. Crockett
  • But Keller Bey has not seen the first green of his wild oat-sowing.

    A Tatter of Scarlet | S. R. Crockett
  • On every hand wheat and corn and clover had taken the place of the wild oat, the hazelbush and the rose.

  • They have all summer long called to each other from the reedy fens and wild oat-fields of the far north.

  • If one could have it now in the wild-oat season; but that isn't to be expected.

    Norston's Rest | Ann S. Stephens

British Dictionary definitions for wild oat

wild oat

  1. 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

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