American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of numerous monoecious deciduous or evergreen trees or shrubs of the genus Quercus, bearing acorns as fruit.
- n. The durable wood of any of these trees or shrubs.
- n. Something made of this wood.
- n. Any of various similar trees or shrubs, such as the poison oak.
- n. Any of various brown shades resembling the wood of an oak in color.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A tree or shrub of the genus Quercus, a large and widely dispersed group, chiefly of forest-trees. In its nobler representatives the oak as “the monarch of the forest” has always been impressive, and it anciently held an important place in religious and civil ceremonies. Oak chaplets were a reward of civic merit among the Romans; the Druids venerated the oak as well as the mistletoe which grows upon it. The timber of many species is of great economic value, and the bark of several is used for tanning and dyeing and in medicine. (See
oak-barkand quercitron.) One species furnishes cork (see cork). The fruit-cups of some are used in tanning (see valonia). (See also gall, kermes, and kermesoak.) The oak of English history and literature is chiefly the British oak, Quercus Robur, having two varieties, pedunculata and sessiliflora, often regarded as species. The species is distributed throughout a great part of Europe and in western Asia. It attains great age, with an extreme height of 120 feet. For ship-building its timber is considered invaluable, having the requisite toughness and most other qualities without extreme weight, and until recently it was the prevailing material of British shipping. It is also used for construction, cabinet-work, etc. Its bark is a tanning substance of great importance. In the eastern half of North America the white oak, Q. alba, in England sometimes called Quebec oak, occupies a somewhat similar but less commanding position. It rises from 70 to 140 feet, and affords a hard, tough, and durable wood, used, though not equal to the English oak, in ship-building, construction of all sorts, the manufacture of carriages and implements, cabinet-making, etc. The bur, overcup, or mossy-cup oak. Q. macrocarpa, is a tree of similar range, equal size, and even superior wood, which is not always distinguished from that of the white oak.
- n. One of various other trees or plants in some respects resembling the oak.
- n. The wood of an oak-tree.
- n. One of certain moths: as, the scalloped oak. [British collectors' name.]
- n. The club at cards.
- n. The red oak.
- n. Quercus Emoryi of Texas.
- n. Same as shingle-oak.
- n. The Turkey oak.
- n. Same as cañon live-oak.
- n. The wall germander, Teucrium Chamædrys.
- n. Gambel's oak, Q. Gambelii.
- n. The Texan oak, Q, Texana.
- n. Same as tarata.
- n. The mountain white oak, Q. Douglasii.
- n. Same as Gambel's oak.
- n. The California white oak, Quercus lobata.
- n. Same as Texan oak.
- n. The water-oak, Q. nigra.
- n. The laurel-oak, Quercus laurifolia.
- n. See Durand's oak.
- n. In Australia, a small malvaceous tree, Lagunaria Patersoni. See whitewood.
- n. countable A tree of the genus Quercus.
- n. uncountable The wood of the oak.
- n. A rich brown colour, like that of oak wood.
- adj. colour of a rich brown colour, like that of oak wood.
- adj. made of oak wood or timber
- adj. consisting of oak trees
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Bot.) Any tree or shrub of the genus Quercus. The oaks have alternate leaves, often variously lobed, and staminate flowers in catkins. The fruit is a smooth nut, called an acorn, which is more or less inclosed in a scaly involucre called the
cupor cupule. There are now recognized about three hundred species, of which nearly fifty occur in the United States, the rest in Europe, Asia, and the other parts of North America, a very few barely reaching the northern parts of South America and Africa. Many of the oaks form forest trees of grand proportions and live many centuries. The wood is usually hard and tough, and provided with conspicuous medullary rays, forming the silver grain.
- n. The strong wood or timber of the oak.
- n. the hard durable wood of any oak; used especially for furniture and flooring
- n. a deciduous tree of the genus Quercus; has acorns and lobed leaves
- From Middle English ook, from Old English āc, from Proto-Germanic *aiks (compare Scots aik, West Frisian iik, Dutch eik, German Eiche, Danish eg), from Proto-Indo-European *eiḱ or *eiǵ- (compare Latin aesculus ("Durmast oak"), Lithuanian ąžuolas ("oak"), Albanian enjë ("juniper, yew"), Ancient Greek (aigilōps, "Turkey oak")) (Wiktionary)
- Middle English ok, from Old English āc. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“An _oaken_ cask," signifies an _oak_ cask, or a cask _of oak_; i.e. a cask _made_ of oak; but a _beer_ cask, and a cask _of beer_, are two different things.”
“Then the _oak_ is such a blessing," he exclaimed with peculiar fervour, clasping his hands, and repeating often -- "the oak is such a blessing!" slowly and in a solemn tone.”
“The term _oak_ is used in several places in Scripture, but nowhere does it appear to refer to the oak as we know it -- _our indigenous oak_.”
“Among these, the prevailing tree was the evergreen oak, (which, by way of distinction, we call the _live - oak_;) and with these occurred frequently a new species of oak bearing”
The Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, Oregon and California To which is Added a Description of the Physical Geography of California, with Recent Notices of the Gold Region from the Latest and Most Authentic Sources
“III. iii.210 (440,8) To seel her father's eyes up, close as oak] There is little relation between _eyes_ and _oak_.”
“Right now, I think the oak is a little too noticeable, but this is still a young wine so that rawness will probably fade.”
“On a medium-bodied, somewhat creamy palate, the oak is a little raw for my taste and isn't balanced by that timid fruit.”
“When I think of the Commonwealth I see a shady little group of these small saplings which we called the oak parlor; when I think of George”
“Still their own nature abides, and the oak is an oak, the ivy an ivy, in the richest as well as in the poorest soils.”
“Mossy oak is good for really early seasons with lots of shade because it is dark and has a fair amount of green in it.”
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