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1. a long shaft of wood for propelling a boat by rowing, having a broad blade that is dipped into and pulled against the water. Oars were also used for steering certain kinds of ancient sailing boats
2. short for oarsman
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the oldest apparatus for moving rowboats through the water. The constituent parts of the oar are the blade, the shaft, and the grip. Oars are differentiated according to size and shape into single-bladed oars for rowing from one side, with support from an oarlock, called loom and paddle oars (with one or two per rower) and into twin-bladed oars for rowing alternately on both sides (on kayaks). The smallest and simplest oars are called paddles. The oars of the largest ancient rowing vessels (galleys, triremes, and others) reached lengths of 14 to 16 m, with up to seven oarsmen placed on each oar. Usually oars are made from a single piece of wood (of ash, maple, pine, and others), with binding at the end of the blade. Aluminum oars are mainly used on pneumatic boats.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

What does it mean when you dream about an oar?

Oars represent a journey across the surface of the unconscious. They also symbolize masculine power. Oars penetrate the waters of the emotions and the psyche, moving through the issues at hand. Having only one oar and being motionless, or trying to row with only one oar, may depict the need for a partner or mate.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
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A week later I was at a boatshow admiring a pretty little fibreglass dinghy, complete with faux lapstrake 'planks' and a wineglass transom, but without fittings for oars. When I asked the salesman, he looked at me blankly and said, "Why?" The transom was braced to handle an outboard, so the builder clearly assumed that no one would actually want to row his boat.
Singer, Leeds, West Yorks WHAT a pity Trenton Oldfield didn't get hit on the head by an oar. It might have knocked some sense into him.
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When the race restarted Cambridge powered to victory after Oxford suffered another setback with a broken oar.
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They then managed to lose the oars and had to raise the alarm with the coastguard by using their mobile phones.
The oars can be seen stowed ready for use when they approach the quayside.
I have analyzed REIT dividend yield rates (RDYRs) versus overall capitalization rates (OARs) many times.