oak

noun, often attributive \ ˈōk \
|Updated on: 6 Jul 2018

Definition of oak

plural oaks or oak
1 a : 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

oaken

play \ˈō-kən\ adjective

Examples of oak in a Sentence

  1. Tall oaks line the street.

  2. The table is solid oak.

  3. The cabinets are made of oak.

Recent Examples of oak from the Web

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.

Illustration of oak

illustration of oak

Origin and Etymology of 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).


OAK Defined for English Language Learners

oak

Definition of oak for English Language Learners

  • : a type of tree that grows in northern parts of the world and that produces acorns

  • : the wood of an oak tree


OAK Defined for Kids

oak

noun \ ˈōk \

Definition of oak for Students

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


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