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 Dairy milk consumption has been slowly falling for decades — long before almond and oat milk hit the scene. Morayo Ogunbayo, ajc, 13 June 2022 In a time when soccer players are investing in everything from art to oat milk, Joachim Andersen has a diverse portfolio. Robert Kidd, Forbes, 7 June 2022 Post-cafecito, guests can start their day with chef Martha Brockmann's four-flower juice, a simple blend of banana, pineapple, orange, and oat milk. Dan Koday, Travel + Leisure, 31 May 2022 Simple and effective, oat milk works to soothe and protect the scalp, while corn and rice starch cleanse and silica absorbs excess dirt, oil and odor. The Editors, Town & Country, 31 May 2022 Under his leadership, Oatly expanded world-wide into coffee shops and grocery chains and launched ads touting oat milk as a climate-friendly alternative to dairy. Khadeeja Safdar, WSJ, 24 May 2022 Whereas oat milk nails add a sheer milky hint of color to nails, like a more natural-looking Frenchie, oatmeal nails are, well…the color of oatmeal. Elle Turner, Glamour, 29 Apr. 2022 Typically, Klorane dry shampoo is derived from oat milk. Chris Hachey, BGR, 29 Apr. 2022 Alongside a glass of oat milk, these cocoa-rich cookies are perfectly soft and chewy. Taylor Worden, Good Housekeeping, 28 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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 online 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

15 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Oat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oat. Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for oat


\ 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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