Definition of oak in English:


(also oak tree)


  • 1A tree that bears acorns as fruit, and typically has lobed deciduous leaves. Oaks are common in many north temperate forests and are an important source of hard and durable wood used chiefly in construction, furniture, and (formerly) shipbuilding.

    • ‘I had sat on the branch of an oak tree and gazed out at the forest surrounding me.’
    • ‘It's worthy of note that the oak tree, sacred to Zeus, is the very tree which is most susceptible to be struck by lightning.’
    • ‘Andy had often sat there, like she was now, and had always tilted her head to stare at the oak tree.’
    • ‘All alone in the world, she had run to the cliff where the monumental oak tree sat, leaned against it and cried.’
    • ‘Suddenly he thought of the forest, the oak tree and the chances that she might be there.’
    1. 1.1 A smoky flavor or aroma characteristic of wine aged in barrels made from this wood.
      • ‘Rich with cherry flavours and toasted oak but incredibly light and soft.’
      • ‘Apart from oak, Chardonnay has many other influences on its complexity of flavours.’
      • ‘This is firm and smoky, with a good backbone, toasty American oak and piercing cassis fruit.’
      • ‘The wine is soft yet juicy with sweet fruit concentration, well-handled oak and a smoky, tapering finish.’
      • ‘John's red wines are always beautifully made with soft tannins and integrated oak.’


  • mighty (or great) oaks from little acorns grow

    • proverb Something of small or modest dimensions may grow into something very large or impressive.

      • ‘Isn't it amazing how great oaks from little acorns grow.’
      • ‘Just as great oaks from little acorns grow, great-group goings-on emerge from small stories of selfish citizens.’
      • ‘His life is true to the saying ‘Great oaks from little acorns grow.’’
      • ‘‘Great oaks from little acorns grow,’ said Myron, the Chamber's vice president for Asia, ‘and the business community hopes more countries will join in.’’
      • ‘‘Great oaks from little acorns grow’ is an adage that is useful in looking at the unqualified success realized in the Portage County, Ohio, horticultural therapy program.’


Old English āc, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch eik and German Eiche.