noun, often attributive
\ ˈōk How to pronounce oak (audio) \
plural oaks or oak

Definition of oak

1a : any of a genus (Quercus) of trees or shrubs of the beech family that produce acorns also : any of various plants related to or resembling the oaks
b : the tough hard durable wood of an oak tree
2 : the leaves of an oak used as decoration

Illustration of oak

Illustration of oak

oak 1a: 1 acorn, 2 leaf

Examples of oak in a Sentence

Tall oaks line the street. The table is solid oak. The cabinets are made of oak.
Recent Examples on the Web Choose at least one smaller tree, like elderberry, California black walnut or laurel, plus berry-rich shrubs like toyon and low-growing or groundcover plants like mugwort to grow under and around the oak tree. Los Angeles Times, 3 Aug. 2022 On a blanket beneath a neighboring oak tree, mellow skaters pass joints and laugh at the clouds. Jonathan Rowe, SPIN, 25 July 2022 The property, along Porter County Road 650 West, includes an old oak tree that used to serve as a hitch for horses when they were still used for farming. Amy Lavalley, Chicago Tribune, 22 July 2022 So Frink spread pellets around the base of an oak tree. Eileen Finan, PEOPLE.com, 14 July 2022 Richard Robertson was 43 years old when he was dragged from his jail cell by an angry white mob, shot and hung from an oak tree near the city’s police station. al, 9 July 2022 Every week, Ed Myers keeps an eye on a massive oak tree in Irvington. Ryan Martin, The Indianapolis Star, 22 June 2022 The 80-foot-tall oak tree in your yard is still growing. Chris Mckeown, The Enquirer, 18 June 2022 In downtown Fort Lauderdale, more than 20 miles from Parkland, a massive oak tree is still looped with a once-vibrant orange ribbon. Ben Crandell, Sun Sentinel, 29 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of oak

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for oak

Middle English ook, oke, going back to Old English āc, going back to Germanic *eik- (whence also Old Frisian ēk "oak," Old Saxon ēc, Old High German eih, eihha, Old Norse eik), of obscure origin

Note: Old English āc is a feminine root noun (dative singular and nominative plural ǣc), though forms leveled to other declensions with umlaut are already evident. Germanic *eik- has been compared with the Greek words aigílōps, a name in Theophrastus for a species of oak (Quercus macrolepis?), and krátaigos, a species of hawthorn (also in Theophrastus), but interpretation of the conjoined elements of these words is conjectural (lṓpē is not actually attested in the sense "cork" or "bark"). The derivation of Latin aesculus "a species of oak (Quercus petraea?)" is obscure. The Lithuanian dialect forms áižuols and áužuolas "oak," superficially comparable, are hypercorrections of ą́žuolas, which is very unlikely to be related to *eik- (cf. Old Prussian ansonis = German eche in the Elbing Vocabulary).

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The first known use of oak was before the 12th century

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oak apple

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Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Oak.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oak. Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for oak


\ ˈōk How to pronounce oak (audio) \

Kids Definition of oak

: a tree or shrub that produces acorns and has tough wood much used for furniture and flooring

More from Merriam-Webster on oak

Nglish: Translation of oak for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of oak for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about oak


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