OAK, n. [It is probably that the first syllable, oak, was originally an adjective expressing some quality, as hard or strong, and by the disuse of tree, oak became the name of the tree.]

A tree of the genus Quercus, or rather the popular name of the genus itself, of which there are several species. The white oak grows to a great size, and furnishes a most valuable timber; but the live oak of the United States is the most durable timber for ships. In Hartford still stands the venerable oak, in the hollow stem of which was concealed and preserved the colonial charter of Connecticut, when Sir E. Andros, by authority of a writ of quo warranto from the British crown, attempted to obtain possession of it, in 1687. As it was then a large tree, it must now be nearly three hundred years old.