oak

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

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Other Words from oak

oaken \ ˈō-​kən How to pronounce oaken (audio) \ 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 Queen isn’t the only old oak the Meyers have on their property. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin's biggest bur oak is more than 300 years old, and you can only see it during a special event in October," 12 Sep. 2019 These trees, such as the Australian silver oak, can also provide support for pepper vines. Nandita Jayaraj, Quartz India, "The coffee plantations of India’s western ghats are being wrongly blamed for climate change," 4 Sep. 2019 Bark piles on the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache site resemble the mastication project near Grand Staircase, where mangled sagebrush lay near the lone gambel oak. Jennifer Oldham, National Geographic, "Forests on Utah’s public lands may soon be torn out. Here’s why.," 3 Sep. 2019 Fans traditionally rolled the trees with toilet paper after a win, but the original oaks died after being doused with herbicide. NBC News, "Alabama fan not making payments for poisoning rival Auburn's landmark tree, DA says," 16 Aug. 2019 On a recent sweltering afternoon in late June, legendary Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders stood underneath the boughs of the mighty oaks that form a canopy of shade in front of Detroit Golf Club. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "20 years later, Barry Sanders 'not sure' he'd change his retirement," 22 July 2019 An oversize window over the farm sink frames a view of the oaks and a peaceful setting. Monica Lander, The Mercury News, "Sponsored: One of a Kind: This peaceful, updated sanctuary includes an enchanting backyard and awesome access," 22 July 2019 Yet Fireman's Park seems nearly frozen in time, from the green, wooden grandstand to the tall oaks beyond the outfield fence to the railroad tracks at the top of a grassy berm, freight trains rolling past at all times of the day and night. Tim Layden, SI.com, "Jon Peters and the Pain of Being 'SUPERKID'," 28 June 2019 The woods around me are almost all tulip poplar since the gypsy moths wiped out the oaks years ago. Ellen Nibali, baltimoresun.com, "What other native trees should I plant?," 13 June 2019

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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Statistics for oak

Last Updated

26 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for oak

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

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More Definitions for oak

oak

noun
How to pronounce oak (audio)

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

oak

noun
\ 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on oak

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with oak

Spanish Central: Translation of oak

Nglish: Translation of oak for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of oak for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about oak

Comments on oak

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