Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

heart of oak

A trait said to belong to a very emotionally and/or mentally strong person. I don't know how a soldier does it—he or she must have a heart of oak. My brother has a heart of oak and has remained totally calm while coping with his wife's sudden illness.
See also: heart, oak, of

all oak and iron bound

In good health. Yes, I was sick a few weeks ago, but I'm all oak and iron bound now.
See also: all, and, bound, iron, oak

all oak and iron bound and *sound as a barrel

Rur. in good health; feeling good. (*Also: as ~.) Tom: How are you today? Bill: All oak and iron bound, thank you. Jane made a wonderful recovery from her surgery, and now she's as sound as a barrel.
See also: all, and, barrel, bound, iron, oak

Great oaks from little acorns grow, and Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.

Prov. Immense things can come from small sources. Don't tell lies, not even small ones. Great oaks from little acorns grow.
See also: acorn, and, great, little, mighty, oak

Little strokes fell great oaks.

Prov. You can complete a large, intimidating task by steadily doing small parts of it. Jill: How can I possibly write a fifty-page report in two months? Jane: Just write a little bit every day. Little strokes fell great oaks.
See also: fell, great, little, oak, stroke

reed before the wind lives on, while mighty oaks do fall

Prov. An insignificant, flexible person is more likely not to get hurt in a crisis than a prominent or rigid person. Our office has new managers now; I plan to be as inconspicuous as possible while they reorganize everyone. A reed before the wind lives on, while mighty oaks do fall.
See also: before, fall, lives, mighty, oak, reed, wind

Great/Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.

something that you say in order to emphasize that a large, successful organization or plan was very small or simple when it began Microsoft, which is now the biggest independent software company in the world, was founded in 1975 by just two men. It goes to show that great oaks from little acorns grow.
See also: acorn, great, grow, little, oak


mod. OK; satisfactory; worthy. (Prisons.) That dude’s oaks.
See also: oak


See oaks
References in classic literature ?
They drop from the oaks like fruit that is ready to be eaten
For you are to know, that, many years before, King Pelias had been told by the Speaking Oak of Dodona, that a man with one sandal should cast him down from his throne.
It seemed as if the hamadryad of the oak had sheltered herself from the unimaginative world within the heart of her native tree, and that it was only necessary to remove the strange shapelessness that had incrusted her, and reveal the grace and loveliness of a divinity.
Suddenly we looked down into a cuplike depression, patched with stunted oaks and firs which had been twisted and bent by the fury of years of storm.
It was low in the heavens, and I calculated that in less than an hour it would lie just above the topmost branches of the old oak.
I could hear the wind sighing in the oaks without, the logs burning softly away at my feet And so we stood until the voice of Rattray recalled me from the deck of the Lady Jermyn and my lost love's side.
The hard red bricks have only grown more firmly set with time, and their oak stairs do not creak and grunt when you try to go down them quietly.
Yes, the oak is right, a thousand times right," thought Prince Andrew.
Beyond, in a slightly clearer space, wild grape and honeysuckle swung in green riot from gnarled old oak trees.
One night, about three years after the death of Hetty Parlow, a number of the young people of Blackburg were passing Oak Hill Cemetery in a wagon--if you have been there you will remember that the road to Greenton runs alongside it on the south.
And little did she dream that for seven long centuries the tribute of her love to Ernest Everhard would repose undisturbed in the heart of the ancient oak of Wake Robin Lodge.
From the oak tree by the kitchen door, in tattered, weatherbeaten garments, hung the bodies of two men.
The Assassins chase Pinocchio, catch him, and hang him to the branch of a giant oak tree
I followed them from the court towards the oak grove.
Holding his head bent down before him, and struggling with the wind that strove to tear the wraps away from him, Levin was moving up to the copse and had just caught sight of something white behind the oak tree, when there was a sudden flash, the whole earth seemed on fire, and the vault of heaven seemed crashing overhead.