live oak


: any of several American evergreen oaks: such as
: a medium-sized oak (Quercus virginiana) of southeastern North America often cultivated as a shelter and shade tree and noted for its extremely hard tough durable wood
: any of several oaks of the western U.S. with evergreen foliage and hard durable wood

Illustration of live oak

Illustration of live oak
  • live oak a

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Before that, in 2004, Hurricane Charley swept the same neighborhood and culled what felt like hundreds of the beautiful old live oak trees that line the streets in Central Florida. Kristen Arnett, Time, 15 Oct. 2022 At this downtown Orlando stop near South Street and Summerlin Avenue, find a towering live oak tree thought to be 125-175 years old. Patrick Connolly, Orlando Sentinel, 25 Sep. 2022 Its grounds—including a bar which extends outdoors under a majestic live oak tree—are only open to guests and members. Ella Riley-adams, Vogue, 25 Aug. 2022 Make sure your space can support at least one coast live oak tree, which can grow 25 to 80 feet tall. Los Angeles Times, 3 Aug. 2022 Nestled into a private valley dotted with live oak trees and less than three hours from LA or San Francisco, Reynolds purchased the parcel in the ‘80s and put up the eight-bedroom, seven-and-a-half-bath main house in 1991. Abby Montanez, Robb Report, 12 Sep. 2022 But the lack of quorums is stirring concerns among tree advocates like Robb who, for years, have been disturbed and distrustful of the city’s treatment of its live oak trees. al, 24 Aug. 2022 One heritage tree — a 44-inch live oak — met the requirements for both removal and preservation. Elena Bruess, San Antonio Express-News, 31 May 2022 One woman even chained herself to a live oak tree in protest. al, 29 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'live oak.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1610, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of live oak was in 1610

Dictionary Entries Near live oak

Cite this Entry

“Live oak.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

live oak

: any of several American oaks with evergreen leaves and hard durable wood
especially : one of the southeastern U.S. that is grown for its shelter and shade and formerly much used in building ships

More from Merriam-Webster on live oak

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Fashionable Words

  • dog-sunglasses-scarf
  • Which of these items is named for a deadly weapon?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?