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See also: oát, oắt, and oặt


unripe cultivated oats
rolled oat seeds ready to be cooked as oatmeal


From Middle English ote, from Old English āte, from Proto-Germanic *aitǭ (swelling; gland; nodule), from Proto-Indo-European *h₁eyd- (to swell). See English atter.



oat (countable and uncountable, plural oats)

  1. (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.
  2. (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.
  3. (usually as plural) The seeds of the oat, a grain, harvested as a food crop.
    • 1991, Cornelia M. Parkinson, Cooking with Oats: Oat Bran, Oatmeal, and More, Storey Publishing, →ISBN, page 2:
      The point is, except in Scotland, people eat comparatively few oats. Scotland's another story, though you'll have to decide how seriously to take it. The way the story goes is that in eastern Scotland, the unmarried plowmen didn't eat anything but oats and milk, except for an occasional potato.
  4. A simple musical pipe made of oat-straw.
  5. The tiniest amount; a whit or jot.
    • 1994, Susan King, The Black Thorne's Rose, page 21:
      Few of them care an oat for the niceties of the arrow sport, but for the young lords that may be on a hunt!

Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also[edit]


  • (tiniest amount): 1873, John Camden Hotten, The Slang Dictionary

Further reading[edit]





  1. nominative plural of oka