wild oat

noun

Definition of wild oat

1 : any of several Old World wild grasses (genus Avena) especially : a Eurasian annual weed (A. fatua) common in meadows and pastures
2 wild oats plural : offenses and indiscretions ascribed to youthful exuberance usually used in the phrase sow one's wild oats

Examples of wild oat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Plant these natives to make an interesting meadow: purple three awn (Aristida purpurea), nodding needle grass (Stipa cernua), deer grass (Muhlenbergia rigens) and wild oat grass (Elymus condensatus) 15. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, "29 garden chores for October," 2 Oct. 2019 Namely, Delilah wants the repressed, overly disciplined Stella to sow some wild oats. Duane Byrge, The Hollywood Reporter, "'How Stella Got Her Groove Back': THR's 1998 Review," 14 Aug. 2019 Teenagers need to test boundaries and sow a few wild oats; when that teenager is a witch, the stakes are a bit higher. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," 18 Dec. 2018 And for a modern update on the classic oatmeal bath remedy, Pai Instant Calm Redness Serum delivers sea aster and wild oat in a lotion gel to strengthen blood vessels and minimize flushing — no matter the forecast. Kari Molvar, New York Times, "How to Protect Your Skin Against Winter Dryness," 2 Nov. 2017

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of wild oat was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Wild oat.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wild%20oat. Accessed 9 December 2019.

More from Merriam-Webster on wild oat

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wild oat

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