Oat Oat ([=o]t), n.; pl. {Oats} ([=o]ts). [OE. ote, ate, AS. [=a]ta, akin to Fries. oat. Of uncertain origin.] 1. (Bot.) 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. [1913 Webster]

2. A musical pipe made of oat straw. [Obs.] --Milton. [1913 Webster]

{Animated oats} or {Animal oats} (Bot.), A grass ({Avena sterilis}) much like oats, but with a long spirally twisted awn which coils and uncoils with changes of moisture, and thus gives the grains an apparently automatic motion.

{Oat fowl} (Zo["o]l.), the snow bunting; -- so called from its feeding on oats. [Prov. Eng.]

{Oat grass} (Bot.), the name of several grasses more or less resembling oats, as {Danthonia spicata}, {Danthonia sericea}, and {Arrhenatherum avenaceum}, all common in parts of the United States.

{To feel one's oats}, (a) to be conceited or self-important. [Slang] (b) to feel lively and energetic.

{To sow one's wild oats}, to indulge in youthful dissipation. --Thackeray.

{Wild oats} (Bot.), a grass ({Avena fatua}) much resembling oats, and by some persons supposed to be the original of cultivated oats. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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