Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various grasses of the genus Avena, especially A. sativa, widely cultivated for their edible grains.
  • n. The grain of any of these plants, used as food and fodder.
  • n. Archaic A musical pipe made of an oat straw.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Widely cultivated cereal grass, typically Avena sativa.
  • n. Any of the numerous species, varieties, or cultivars of any of several similar grain plants.
  • n. The seeds of the oat, harvested as a food crop.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A well-known cereal grass (Avena sativa), and its edible grain, used as food and fodder; -- commonly used in the plural and in a collective sense.
  • n. A musical pipe made of oat straw.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To feed with oats; feed oats to.
  • n. A cereal plant, Avena sativa, or its seed: commonly used in the plural in a collective sense.
  • n. Any species of Avena. The wild oat of Europe, A. fatua, is a weed of cultivation in many places; in California, where it abounds, it is extensively utilized as hay. The animal, fly, or hygrometric oat, A. sterilis, native in Barbary, has two long, strong, much-bent awns, which twist and untwist with changes of moisture, and so become a means of locomotion. Various species are more or less available for pasture.
  • n. A musical pipe of oat-straw; a shepherd's pipe; hence, pastoral song. See oaten pipe, under oaten.
  • n. Bromus secalinus.
  • n. Pharus latifolius.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. seed of the annual grass Avena sativa (spoken of primarily in the plural as `oats')
  • n. annual grass of Europe and North Africa; grains used as food and fodder (referred to primarily in the plural: `oats')

Etymologies

Middle English ote, from Old English āte.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English ote, from Old English āte, from Proto-Germanic *aitōn (“swelling”) (compare Old High German eiz ("abscess"), Dutch etter ("pus"), East Frisian eitel ("fast, raging"), Old Norse eitill ("nodule")), from Proto-Indo-European *h₁eid- (“to swell”) (compare Latin aemidus ("swollen, protuberant"), Old Church Slavonic ꙗдъ (jadŭ, "poison"), Ancient Greek οἰδέω (oideō, "to swell"), Old Armenian այտնում (aytnum, "to swell"), այտ (ayt, "cheek"), Sanskrit इन्दु (índu, "water drop"). For sense development, compare Ancient Greek oídax 'unripe fig' from oîdos 'swelling, tumor'. (Wiktionary)

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