Oat (Ot), n.; pl. Oats (Ots). [OE. ote, ate, AS. Ata, akin to Fries. oat. Of uncertain origin.]
A well-known cereal grass (Avena sativa), and its edible grain; -- commonly used in the plural and in a collective sense.
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 automatic motion. --
Oat fowl (Zoöl.), 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, D. sericea, and Arrhenatherum avenaceum, all common in parts of the United States. --
To feel one's oats, to be conceited ro self-important. [Slang] --
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.
© Webster 1913