1. annual grass of Europe and North Africa; grains used as food and fodder (referred to primarily in the plural: `oats');
2. seed of the annual grass Avena sativa (spoken of primarily in the plural as `oats');
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
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.
2. A musical pipe made of oat straw. [Obs.] --Milton.
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
Oat fowl (Zool.), 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.
Wild oats (Bot.), a grass (Avena fatua) much resembling
oats, and by some persons supposed to be the original of
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: annual grass of Europe and North Africa; grains used as
food and fodder (referred to primarily in the plural:
2: seed of the annual grass Avena sativa (spoken of primarily in
the plural as `oats')