Definition of oat in English:

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Pronunciation: /ōt/


1A cereal plant cultivated chiefly in cool climates and widely used for animal feed as well as human consumption.
  • Avena sativa, family Gramineae.
Example sentences
  • Glabrous mutant varieties have been identified in many cereal crop species, including rice, wheat, barley, oats, pearl millet, sugarcane, and sorghum.
  • Barley, oats, triticale and rye are all valuable in animal feed, and if managed carefully, can produce profitable yields.
  • Monotony came from the self-sufficiency of small farms; since bread was the staple food, most farms grew wheat, along with other cereals like rye, oat, buckwheat, maize and barley.
1.1 (oats) The grain yielded by this, used as food.
Example sentences
  • On the other hand, wholegrains (such as brown rice, oats, wholemeal bread, wholewheat pasta), tend to give rise to more tempered amounts of insulin.
  • In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup flour, muscovado sugar, oats, and oil, mixing well with a spoon or your hands until the mixture holds together in clumps and all the flour is incorporated.
  • This vegan cheddar is essentially made out of brown rice, oats and canola oil.
1.2Used in names of wild grasses related to the cultivated oat, e.g., wild oat.
Example sentences
  • Wild oats is the most serious grassy weed in the Prairies.
  • The seedhead of slender wild oat is very attenuated and from it projects a long (2-inch) awn that looks like an antenna from a large insect.
  • Future work will address the impact of infection on these wild grass hosts.



feel one's oats

North American informal Feel lively and energetic.
Example sentences
  • For one thing, (The Corsair feels his oats) there is a deep discrepancy as to how each of them perceives their ‘relationship.’
  • Libby is feeling his oats now, but when his wife explains how they have no money coming in and tons of it going out, with no prospect of making any more money for years.
  • Now that you're feeling your oats and enjoying the fruits of your hard labor, not to mention that shake, we might as well let you in on a little secret: you may not be as strong as you think.

sow one's wild oats

Go through a period of wild or promiscuous behavior while young.
Example sentences
  • Life was ‘full and merry’, perhaps selfish and debauched, with heavy use of the double standard as young men ‘sowed their wild oats’.
  • In this case, it is probably for the best that they sow their wild oats when they are young.
  • The next summer he sows his wild oats, but tries to maintain a ‘friendship’ with me.



Pronunciation: /ˈōtn/
( archaic)
Example sentences
  • Rolls of good quality oaten hay are valued at between $60 and $70 a roll.
  • In the west, it was mostly oaten straw that was used and it was important that the material had not been damaged and so, there was great care taken with the straw when it was threshed by the flail.
  • In Robin's world, each of his merry man is promised three suits of Lincoln green each year, along with a salary, venison, ‘sweet oaten cakes, and curds and honey’.


Example sentences
  • To accompany your morning coffee, have some oaty chocolate brownies with white and dark chocolate - since there are oats in the mixture, they are a healthier option than some brownies.
  • It sat on a spicy, oaty venison haggis which could have been good on its own but not soaked in another shiny gravy called ‘rich game sauce’.
  • The chocolate Hob Nob, my favourite British biscuit, becomes a floaty oaty chocolatey mess.


Old English āte, plural ātan, of unknown origin. Unlike other names of cereals (such as wheat, barley, etc.), oat is not a mass noun and may originally have denoted the individual grain, which may imply that oats were eaten in grains and not as meal.

  • Oats are used as feed for horses, making them friskier and more energetic, and if you show signs of being lively and buoyant you may be said to be feeling your oats (mid 19th century). To be off your oats (late 19th century), on the other hand, means that you have no appetite for food. Wild oats are weeds found in cornfields which resemble cultivated oats. They have no value as a crop, so you would be wasting your time sowing them instead of good grain. Since the 16th century sowing your wild oats has been a term for behaving wildly or promiscuously when young, while to get your oats [1920s] is to have sex.

Words that rhyme with oat

afloat, bloat, boat, capote, coat, connote, cote, dote, emote, float, gloat, goat, groat, misquote, moat, mote, note, outvote, promote, quote, rote, shoat, smote, stoat, Succoth, table d'hôte, Terre Haute, throat, tote, vote, wrote

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: oat

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