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

Sprinkle evenly over the berry mixture and bake until the fruit is bubbling and the oat mixture is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Ashley Rodriguez, Woman's Day, "Berry Oatmeal Crumble," 10 Apr. 2019 Maintain the barest simmer while cooking the tapioca and oat milk to prevent pearls from instantly dissolving. Eleanore Park, WSJ, "Recipes That Start With Seeds—From Sunflower to Poppy," 26 Mar. 2019 Try a lotion like Vaseline Intensive Care Essential Healing Lotion that contains oat extract to calm inflammation and protect the skin. Marci Robin, Allure, "The Best Non-Steroid Topical Treatments for Psoriasis, According to Dermatologists," 10 Sep. 2018 Add soaked oats along with any residual liquid, plus salt and pepper to bowl meat mixture and mix with your hands until all ingredients are fully and evenly incorporated. Priya Krishna, WSJ, "Meatloaf Transcendent," 6 Sep. 2018 Jennifer Garner’s Granola Bars Ingredients: 2 cups oats 1 cup unsweetened coconut ½ cup wheat germ ½ cup sunflower seeds ¼ cup flaxseed 2 tbsp. butter ½ cup honey ¼ cup brown sugar ½ tsp salt 1 tsp. vanilla Recipe: 1. Madison Roberts, PEOPLE.com, "Jennifer Garner Whips Up Her 'Favorite' Granola Bars—and Gets a Sweet Birthday Message from Ina Garten," 17 Apr. 2018 What's more, oats are rich in phytochemicals, which are powerful antioxidant compounds that have been linked with cancer-fighting properties. 2. Good Housekeeping, "4 Reasons Why Oatmeal Is the Ultimate Breakfast," 15 Oct. 2018 Instead of oats, this grain-free granola recipe uses a mix of unsweetened coconut flakes and raw nuts. Andy Baraghani, Bon Appetit, "This Tahini Granola Is Nutty, Cluster-y, and Totally Grain-Free," 9 Apr. 2018 Besides pumpkin puree, these homemade dog treats also pack additional gut-friendly fiber from oats and a dose of protein and drool-worthy flavor from peanut butter. Stephanie Eckelkamp, Good Housekeeping, "These DIY Pumpkin Oatmeal Dog Treats Are So Good You Might Just Eat Them Yourself," 3 Sep. 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 "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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oat cell


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Last Updated

9 Jun 2019

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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
: 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on oat

Rhyming Dictionary: 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

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