noun, often attributive
\ˈōk \
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

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Other Words from oak

oaken \ ˈō-​kən \ adjective

Examples of oak in a Sentence

Tall oaks line the street. The table is solid oak. The cabinets are made of oak.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The grapes are crushed, usually in September, filtered, stirred, strained and stored in large metal or concrete tanks for various periods, then siphoned into oak barrels for aging and blending. Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, Indianapolis Star, "The Hoosier Gardener: Trip to Bordeaux wine country is an educational experience," 13 July 2018 Kegs of Libertine’s tart Framboise wild ale are distilled and aged in new American oak barrels with raspberries. SFChronicle.com, "The beers and whiskeys of Seven Stills," 1 July 2018 Briar is a sour ale fermented with blackberries and raspberries and aged in oak barrels. Gary Dzen, BostonGlobe.com, "Bottles: Maine brewers expand — and Bay State benefits," 11 June 2018 The lush 2015 Bucci Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore ($18), aged in large (not new) oak barrels, might convert a Chardonnay drinker. Lettie Teague, WSJ, "An Under-the-Radar Italian Wine Made for Summer Drinking," 31 May 2018 Ultimately, the Domaine Curry wine spent 16 months in French oak barrels, about 65 percent of which were new. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, "Exclusive: Esther Mobley reviews Ayesha Curry’s new wine, Domaine Curry," 27 Apr. 2018 Some wines, like those aged in toasted oak barrels, taste great with a hint of smoke. Doug Main, Scientific American, "Smoke Taint: Wildfires Pose a Growing Threat to Winegrowers," 1 Dec. 2017 For the uninitiated, bourbon is a type of whiskey made from at least 51 percent corn and distilled in an oak barrel—or, rather, it's supposed to be. Shelbie Lynn Bostedt, RedEye Chicago, "Barley's Angels, Women Who Whiskey, Bourbon Women breaking stigma of a 'woman's palate'," 6 July 2017 Tommy, alongside his then-wife, Marilyn Kelley, raised four strong daughters in their Enfield home, where their summer garden was bountiful, Clancy lay snoozing beneath the oak, and lilacs surrounded the back stoop. courant.com, "Orrin W. Thompson," 7 July 2018

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.

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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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Dictionary Entries near oak

Oahe, Lake




oak apple

oak beauty

oak blight

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Time Traveler for oak

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

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More Definitions for oak



English Language Learners Definition of oak

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

: the wood of an oak tree


\ˈōk \

Kids Definition of oak

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

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Comments on oak

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to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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