oak

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(as) strong as an oak

1. Extremely durable or hardy in construction; able to withstand a lot of stress or rough use. I was apprehensive when he said he was going to build the house himself, but the whole structure is as strong as an oak! Don't worry about dropping that end table—it's strong as an oak. I was surprised that our tent proved to be as strong as an oak during that windy storm.
2. Having or displaying extremely robust physical health or strength. A lifetime of physical labor has left the man strong as an oak. My grandmother exercises every day and always eats a balanced diet, so even in her 80s, she is as strong as an oak. Our father was always as strong as an oak, so it took us all by surprise when he was hospitalized by a heart attack at the age of 48.
3. Having or exhibiting uncompromising and indomitable resolve, spirit, and strength of character. He was a titan of industry. As strong as an oak in negotiations, he always got what he wanted. During such times of hardship, this country needs a leader who is strong as an oak. A: "I can't believe that Vanessa is still so positive and upbeat after that horrific accident." B: "I know, she's strong as an oak."
See also: an, oak, strong

(as) sturdy as an oak

1. Extremely durable or hardy in construction; able to withstand a lot of stress or rough use. I was apprehensive when he said he was going to build the house himself, but the whole structure is as sturdy as an oak! Don't worry about dropping that end table—it's sturdy as an oak. I was surprised that our tent proved to be as sturdy as an oak during that storm.
2. Having or displaying extremely robust physical health or strength. A lifetime of physical labor has left the man sturdy as an oak. My grandmother exercises every day and always eats a balanced diet, so even in her 80s, she is as sturdy as an oak. Our father was always as sturdy as an oak, so it took us all by surprise when he was hospitalized by a heart attack at the age of 48.
3. Having or exhibiting uncompromising and indomitable resolve, spirit, and strength of character. He was a titan of industry. As sturdy as an oak in negotiations, he always got what he wanted. During such times of hardship, this country needs a leader who is sturdy as an oak. A: "I can't believe that Vanessa is still so positive and upbeat after that horrific accident." B: "I know, she's sturdy as an oak."
See also: an, oak, sturdy

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

proverb Those who remain flexible and adaptable will be able to survive change, hardship, or adversity more easily than those who try to challenge or stand against it. The CEO doesn't tolerate people who won't go along with his ideas or change to meet his demands. A reed before the wind lives on, at least when you're working at this company. Luckily, I had diversified a lot of my revenue streams before the economic crash hit, so I was able to change tack and withstand the blow better than the large companies that had no room to maneuver. A reed before the wind lives on, while mighty oaks to fall. Come on, you can't cling steadfast to business practices that are ineffectual. Haven't you ever heard that a reed before the wind lives on?
See also: before, lives, mighty, oak, reed, while, wind

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. My grandma has been rowing her whole life. She turns 87 this year and she's still all oak and iron bound. Ben did have surgery a few months ago, but he's completed physical therapy and is all oak and iron bound now.
See also: all, and, bound, iron, oak

be (as) strong as an oak

1. To be extremely durable or hardy in construction; to be able to withstand a lot of stress or rough use. I was apprehensive when he said he was going to build the house himself, but the whole structure is as strong as an oak!
2. To have or display extremely robust physical health or strength. Due to a lifetime of physical labor, my father is strong as an oak. My grandmother exercises every day and always eats a balanced diet, so even in her 80s, she is as strong as an oak.
3. To have or exhibit uncompromising and indomitable resolve, spirit, and strength of character. He was strong as an oak in negotiations, so he always got what he wanted. During such times of hardship, this country needs a leader who is as strong as an oak.
See also: an, oak, strong

be (as) sturdy as an oak

1. To be extremely durable or hardy in construction; to be able to withstand a lot of stress or rough use. I was apprehensive when he said he was going to build the house himself, but the whole structure is as sturdy as an oak!
2. To have or display extremely robust physical health or strength. Due to a lifetime of physical labor, my father is sturdy as an oak. My grandmother exercises every day and always eats a balanced diet, so even in her 80s, she is as sturdy as an oak.
3. To have or exhibit uncompromising and indomitable resolve, spirit, and strength of character. He was sturdy as an oak in negotiations, so he always got what he wanted. During such times of hardship, this country needs a leader who is as sturdy as an oak.
See also: an, oak, sturdy

great oaks from little acorns grow

Large and powerful things once were very small and insignificant. It's hard to believe that her successful clothing line was once a small business run from her tiny studio apartment. Great oaks from little acorns grow.
See also: acorn, great, grow, little, oak

great oaks grow from small acorns

proverb All large and powerful things were small and insignificant when they first began. It's hard to believe that her successful clothing line was once a small business run from her tiny studio apartment. Great oaks grow from small acorns.
See also: acorn, great, grow, oak, small

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—they 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

little strokes fell great oaks

proverb Large, seemingly impossible tasks can be completed or accomplished through small, steady efforts. A: "This lawsuit is so huge, I just don't see how we'll be able to get through it!" B: "We just take it one step and one day at a time, taking care of what we can, when we can—remember, little strokes fell great oaks." I thought I'd never be able to pay off my student loans, but little strokes fell great oaks, and after 20 years, I'm finally debt free.
See also: fell, great, little, oak, stroke

mighty oaks from little acorns grow

Large and powerful things once were very small and insignificant. It's hard to believe that her successful clothing line was once a small business run from her tiny studio apartment. Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.
See also: acorn, grow, little, mighty, oak

sound as a barrel

In good health. Yes, I was sick a few weeks ago, but I'm as sound as a barrel now.
See also: barrel, sound
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

great oaks from little acorns grow

People say great oaks from little acorns grow when they want to say that large and successful things can begin in a small way. It is going to take at least five seasons before the new club can take its rightful place in the third division. Still, great oaks from little acorns grow. Note: Other adjectives can be used instead of great and little. Henry Ford did not start his operations by hiring 330,000 employees and opening hundreds of factories in his first year. Remember, mighty oaks from tiny acorns grow. Note: Acorns are the nuts that grow on oak trees.
See also: acorn, great, grow, little, oak
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

heart of oak

a courageous nature.
Literally, the heart is the solid central part of the oak tree traditionally used for timber for ships. The phrase was popularized by the words of an 18th-century song: ‘Heart of oak are our ships, Heart of oak are our men’.
See also: heart, oak, of
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

great/tall ˌoaks from little acorns ˈgrow

(saying) large and successful organizations, businesses, etc. sometimes begin in a very small or modest way: Welcome to my new website! It may not look much at the moment, but great oaks from little acorns grow!
An oak is a large tree and the acorn is its fruit.
See also: acorn, great, grow, little, oak, tall
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

oak(s)

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

oak

verb
See oaks
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
In addition, Home Trust offers deposits via brokers and financial planners, and through a direct to consumer brand, Oaken Financial.
Harteros' pillowy, sensuous soprano; Terfel's oaken baritone and, Oakes' fresh soprano--together with the terrific stage chemistry of Terfel and Oakes--evoked an intriguing textural complexity that pointed up the tenderness of the Wotan/Brunnhilde relationship.
The dark oaken bar is well worn and atmospheric with tankards and teapots hanging from the ceiling.
Before my son turns six I carve his name these places: oaken rung
Oaken Financial has opened two new stores--one in the heart of Toronto's financial district and one in downtown Calgary, both stores replacing a teller-based model with branches dedicated to discussion and collaboration.
During the meeting in the Iranian capital on Wednesday, senior Iranian foreign ministry officials and Middle East Director of the British Foreign Office Edward Oaken underlined the need for the further expansion of bilateral ties.
We didn't know much about Old Ironsides beyond her reputation as a ship so stoutly built that enemy cannonballs bounced harmlessly off her oaken sides, but we enthusiastically collected our pennies for the cause.
Feared for his size, cruelty and prowess in battle, The Mountain wears the thickest plate armor in Seven Kingdoms and carries an extremely thick oaken shield.
The cocktail included a Charles & Charles Cabernet Sauvignon, mixed with Victoria Oaken gin, Luxardo Cherry Morlaco Sangue, Scrappy's Cardamom bitters, and a touch of lemon zest.
The 2014 edition began life in the oaken vessels of Frank Boon's brewery, deep in Belgium's Lembeek Valley.
Registered charity Oaken Palace Records, established by 26-yearold Sven Lohrey, donates all of its proceeds to environmental good causes.
During the voyage, some kind of transformation had taken place in the oaken barrels - the constant movement, high humidity and fluctuating temperature caused the spirit to extract more flavour and contributed to accelerated maturation.
In this instance, the commercial benefits of extending Hermitage Quarry were said to outweigh the value of 400-year old Oaken Wood in Kent.
OAKEN casks sit inside a dark, dank cellar on a remote estate in the Grande Champagne region of Cognac, France.
Yes, the alt-folksters, led by husband and wife Michael and Ruth Aicken, are purveyors of acoustic music that could warm even the most oaken heart.