noun, often attributive
\ ˈōt How to pronounce oat (audio) \

Definition of oat

1a : any of several grasses (genus Avena) especially : a widely cultivated cereal grass (A. sativa)
b : a crop or plot of the oat also : the seed of an oat usually used in plural but singular or plural in construction
2 archaic : a reed instrument made of an oat straw
feel one's oats
: to act in a newly self-confident and often self-important manner

Illustration of oat

Illustration of oat

oat 1a

Examples of oat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In particular, coconut milk sales jumped 11% and oat milk soared 130%. Jordan Valinsky, CNN, "Dunkin' is adding a new plant-based milk to menus," 26 Apr. 2021 The maker of oat milk known for its clever and ubiquitous advertising filed to go public this week, the latest trendy brand to tap into what looks like an all-you-can-eat market for food IPOs. Chloe Sorvino, Forbes, "Oatly Is The Latest Brand To Gorge On Investors’ Food Frenzy. It Won’t Be The Last.," 21 Apr. 2021 In February, the oat-milk maker confidentially filed for an IPO in the U.S. Kimberly Chin, WSJ, "Oprah-Backed Oatly Files for IPO," 19 Apr. 2021 Why not stir oat milk into your coffee with a spoon that glints metallic gold? Laura Lajiness, Vogue, "24 Modern Flatware Sets to Add Some Ambiance to Your Meals," 17 Apr. 2021 Last week the internet mob turned its eye on an unsuspecting subject: oat milk. Christine Byrne, Outside Online, "Is Oat Milk Actually Good for You?," 17 Apr. 2021 To avert the climate crisis, the U.S. should probably be making more solar panels and batteries and (yes) oat milk; ideally more of those factories will be unionized. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "How an Oat Milk Pipeline in New Jersey Explains the Problem With Biden’s Climate Plan," 7 Apr. 2021 There also are health benefits to drinking oat milk. Lydia Wang, refinery29.com, "Please Leave Oat Milk Alone," 7 Apr. 2021 The latter line of business just launched the first organic oat milk creamer, called Sown, at Whole Foods, Sprouts and Amazon. Kristen Leigh Painter, Star Tribune, "SunOpta to open new Eden Prairie headquarters as it eyes growth," 5 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'oat.' 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 oat

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

History and Etymology for oat

Middle English ote "the grain of the oat plant, the plant itself," going back to Old English āte (weak feminine noun), of uncertain origin

Note: Old English āte has been compared with regional Dutch aate, oote "wild oats" (West and Zeeland Flanders), West Frisian and Groningen Dutch oat. (These contrast with Dutch haver, denoting cultivated oats, a reflex of the Common Germanic word for the grain.) Michiel de Vaan, in an addenda to the on-line etymologiebank.nl, believes that the Flanders words are semantic extensions of regional aat "food," of general Germanic origin (see eat entry 2), though this hypothesis would scarcely explain the Old English word. Jan de Vries (Nederlands Etymologisch Woordenboek, Brill, 1971) hypothesizes that the Low Country words may have been borrowed from English.

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

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Last Updated

28 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Oat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oat. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for oat



English Language Learners Definition of oat

: a kind of grain that is widely grown
: the seeds of the oat plant used as feed for farm animals and in foods (such as bread and oatmeal) for people


\ ˈōt How to pronounce oat (audio) \

Kids Definition of oat

1 : a cereal grass grown for its loose clusters of seeds that are used for human food and animal feed
2 oats plural : a crop or the seeds of the oat

More from Merriam-Webster on oat

Nglish: Translation of oat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of oat for Arabic Speakers

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