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wild oat

noun
1.
any uncultivated species of Avena, especially a common weedy grass, A. fatua, resembling the cultivated oat.
2.
a hardy plant, Uvularia sessilifolia, of the lily family, of eastern North America, having deep green, hairy leaves and greenish-yellow, tubular flowers.
Idioms
3.
sow one's wild oats, to have a youthful fling at reckless and indiscreet behavior, especially to be promiscuous before marriage.
Origin
1490-1500
1490-1500
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for sow wild oats

wild oat

noun
1.
any of several temperate annual grasses of the genus Avena, esp A. fatua, that grow as weeds and have long bristles on their flower spikes
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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sow wild oats in Culture

sow wild oats definition


To engage in youthful indiscretions, usually sexual liaisons: “Paul asked his father if he had sowed his wild oats before getting married.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for sow wild oats

wild oat

any of several tufted annual grasses of the genus Avena (family Poaceae), native to Eurasia. Wild oats are sometimes cut for hay, and young plants provide forage for grazing animals

Learn more about wild oat with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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6
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