• synonyms

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.
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  1. sow one's wild oats, to have a youthful fling at reckless and indiscreet behavior, especially to be promiscuous before marriage.
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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

Historical Examples of 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.

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
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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