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oat

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Noun

CIDE DICTIONARY

oatn. [OE. ote, ate, AS. , akin to Fries. oat. Of uncertain origin.].
  •  A well-known cereal grass (Avena sativa), and its edible grain, used as food and fodder; -- commonly used in the plural and in a collective sense.  [1913 Webster]
  •  A musical pipe made of oat straw.  Milton.  [1913 Webster]
Animated oats or Animal oats (Bot.), A grass (Avena sterilis) much like oats, but with a long spirally twisted awn which coils and uncoils with changes of moisture, and thus gives the grains an apparently automatic motion. -- Oat fowl (Zoöl.), the snow bunting; -- so called from its feeding on oats. [Prov. Eng.] -- Oat grass (Bot.), the name of several grasses more or less resembling oats, as Danthonia spicata, Danthonia sericea, and Arrhenatherum avenaceum, all common in parts of the United States. -- To feel one's oats, (a) to be conceited or self-important. [Slang] (b) to feel lively and energetic. -- To sow one's wild oats, to indulge in youthful dissipation. Thackeray. -- Wild oats (Bot.), a grass (Avena fatua) much resembling oats, and by some persons supposed to be the original of cultivated oats.

OXFORD DICTIONARY

oat, n.
1 a a cereal plant, Avena sativa, cultivated in cool climates. b (in pl.) the grain yielded by this, used as food.
2 any other cereal of the genus Avena, esp. the wild oat, A. fatua.
3 poet. the oat-stem used as a musical pipe by shepherds etc., usu. in pastoral or bucolic poetry.
4 (in pl.) sl. sexual gratification.

Idiom
feel one's oats colloq.
1 be lively.
2 US feel self-important. oat-grass any of various grasses, esp. of the genus Arrhenatherum. off one's oats colloq. not hungry. sow one's oats (or wild oats) indulge in youthful excess or promiscuity.
Derivative
oaten adj.
Etymology
OE ate, pl. atan, of unkn. orig.

For further exploring for "oat" in Webster Dictionary Online


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