A rich maa, a man of good substance and credit. To sport oak; to shut the outward door of a student's room at college. An oaken towel; an oaken cudgel. To rub a man down with an oaken towel; to beat him.
The Structure of a Young Twig of Oak, showing the layer of cells (A) which increases the girth of the twig as it grows into a branch
the outer door of college rooms; to “sport one's oak ,” to be “not at home” to visitors. See sport.—University.
Oak  (Quercus ), is most numerous in temperate climates, though some are tropical; fully fifty species occur in the United States, with many intermediate forms or hybrids. The Oak is a true giant among forest trees. Its trunk often attains a circumference of thirty feet. Its bark is smooth in the young trees and rough in the old oaks. The strong, widely extended boughs are pronged and knotty; the crown is large, with a sinuate outline. The blossoms are within long pendent catkins and appear in the month of May. The bark and the acorns, which are contained in pretty little cups, are medicinal. Along the stems and the boughs mosses and lichens grow exuberantly. In the galls of the leaves and branches different gall insects live. The horn beetles suck the sap of the oaks, and the acorns form the food of squirrels and other rodents. The European Oak , the most important Old World timber oak, is sparingly planted in the United States. The White Oak , the most valuable American timber oak, occurs from Texas to Minnesota and eastward. With similar range, but less valuable for timber, are Bur Oak  or Mossy Cup Oak , the Scarlet Oak  and the Red Oak. The Cow Oak  or Basket Oak  and the Yellow  or Chestnut Oak produce edible acorns. The bark of the Quercitron  is used in tanning, as a yellow dye, and in medicine. The Live Oak , once famous for ship-building, is a sturdy species with entire evergreen leaves occurring in the Southern States, Cuba and the Pacific States.


Massive strength is the chief characteristic of the oak, and it was the broad-based trunk of an oak that suggested the design for the first great lighthouse. The branches twist about in zig-zag fashion, and the thick bark is deeply furrowed.


Out of these three great families of plants, in their almost endless variety of size, form, and colour, it has pleased the Great Author of Nature to form all the vegetation which beautifies this earth, from the lofty Palm—which, from its grateful freshness and the beauty of its structure, seems almost as if possessed of more than vegetative life, to the Algæ, which form "the pool's green mantle"—from the gigantic and "storm-defying" Oak, with its green foliage spreading out far above, and throwing its welcome shade around, to defend from the sun's rays the gentle deer who pasture on the herbage beneath—to the grass and clover, and the sweet-smelling wild flowers at their feet—

That come before the swallow dares, and take
The winds of March with beauty; violets dim
But sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes,
Or Cytherea's breath,—pale primroses
That die unmarried, ere they can behold
Bright Phœbus in his strength"—

form inexhaustible themes on which to exercise our faculties of admiration, and which serve admirably to minister to those wants which, without doubt, were given to us that we might derive pleasure from their being thus beautifully gratified—themes for the pencil of the artist, who "holds, as it were, the mirror up to nature," and the architect, when he designed his vistas of slender columns spreading out into and supporting roofs of tracery, might well be supposed to have had in his "mind's eye" some beautiful recollection of the arcades of Nature's palaces in the sombre forests, where the twisted trunks of the trees, the fretwork of their branches, and the leafy covering formed by their leaves, supply all the requisites of a grand and lofty temple, fit for the worship of that great First Cause who formed them.