- [usually pl.]
- a hardy, widely grown cereal grass (Avena sativa)
- the edible grain of this grass
- any of various related grasses (genus Avena), esp. the wild oats
- Obs. a simple musical pipe made of an oat stalk
Origin of oatMiddle English ote from Old English ate: not found in other Germanic languages: probably from Indo-European base an unverified form oid-, to swell
feel one's oatsSlang
- to be in high spirits; be frisky
- to feel and act important
- often oats used with a sing. or pl. verb a. Any of various grasses of the genus Avena, especially A. sativa, widely cultivated for their edible grains.b. The grain of any of these plants, used as food and fodder.
- A musical pipe made of an oat straw.
Origin of oatMiddle English ote from Old English āte
(countable and uncountable, plural oats)
- (uncountable) Widely cultivated cereal grass, typically Avena sativa.
- The oat stalks made good straw.
- The main forms of oat are meal and bran.
- World trade in oat is increasing.
- (countable) Any of the numerous species, varieties, or cultivars of any of several similar grain plants in genus Avena.
- The wild red oat is thought to be the ancestor of modern food oats.
- (usually as plural) The seeds of the oat, harvested as a food crop.
Middle English ote, from Old English Äte, from Proto-Germanic *aitÇ (“swelling"), from Proto-Indo-European *hâ‚eid- (“to swell"). For sense development, compare Ancient Greek oÃdax 'unripe fig' from oÃ®dos 'swelling, tumor'.