noun, often attributive
\ˈōt \

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 pl. 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

Crunchy on the outside, but slightly crumbly inside, these rustic oat biscuits positively beg to be submerged in tea or coffee. Zahra Pettican, Bon Appetit, "11 Positively British Snacks to Order Online Before the Royal Wedding," 8 May 2018 Oatly may be the first to find how much oats can sow from bounty. Time, "How Oat Milk Could Change the Way You Drink Coffee," 8 Mar. 2018 Serves 4 These cornmeal and oat flour pancakes begin with a cornmeal porridge, which simmers first, then cools. Caleb Barber, BostonGlobe.com, "Recipe: Pancake lovers will sing with joy over these cornmeal-oat blueberry beauties," 9 July 2018 Even my local spot in the East Village had moved on to almond and oat. Ryan Smith, Bon Appetit, "I Love Soy Milk, and No, I Don't Want to Try That Other Milk Instead," 26 June 2018 Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, until oats are soft and have absorbed most of the liquid. Lisa Lillien, PEOPLE.com, "Hungry Girl: Upgrade Your Breakfast with This Protein-Packed Recipe," 28 May 2018 High-fiber, whole-grain carb sources like oats, brown rice, and skin-on potatoes take longer to digest, which keeps your metabolism revved and helps prevent body fat. Carly Graf, Outside Online, "The Foods You Should Be Eating at Every Age," 28 June 2018 Add the oats, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the water is gone. Sally Singer, Vogue, "Hollywood’s Favorite Detox Resort Launches a Delicious Vegetarian Cookbook," 13 June 2018 Steel Cut Oatmeal with Almonds, Quinoa and Honey The combo of steel cut oats and quinoa gets the thumbs up in my book. Samantha Cassetty, NBC News, "The healthiest things to eat at Panera Bread," 14 June 2018

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, from Old English āte

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Dictionary Entries near oat






oat cell


Phrases Related to oat

sow one's (wild) oats

Statistics for oat

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for oat

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

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More Definitions for oat



English Language Learners Definition of oat

: a kind of grain that is widely grown

oats : the seeds of the oat plant used as feed for farm animals and in foods (such as bread and oatmeal) for people


\ˈōt \

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

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See words that rhyme with oat

Spanish Central: Translation of oat

Nglish: Translation of oat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of oat for Arabic Speakers

Comments on oat

What made you want to look up oat? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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