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[jak-straw] /ˈdʒækˌstrɔ/
one of a group of strips of wood or similar objects, as straws or toothpicks, used in the game of jackstraws.
jackstraws, (used with a singular verb) a game in which players compete in picking up, one by one, as many jackstraws as possible without disturbing the heap.
  1. a straw-stuffed figure of a man; scarecrow; straw man.
  2. an insignificant person.
Origin of jackstraw
First recorded in 1590-1600; after Jack Straw, name or nickname of one of the leaders of the rebellion headed by Wat Tyler in 1381 in England Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for jackstraws
Historical Examples
  • Sue had stolen some matches and was using them as jackstraws.

    The Harbor Ernest Poole
  • The children were tumbled in a heap like a pile of jackstraws.

    Leerie Ruth Sawyer
  • And why were they all crosswise with each other, like jackstraws?

    Stepsons of Light Eugene Manlove Rhodes
  • She was past mistress of the pretty game of jackstraws, much in vogue at that time.

    Homespun Tales Kate Douglas Wiggin
  • The chairs and easels were piled up like jackstraws at the beginning of a game.

  • jackstraws is a game which most of us have played in our youth.

    A Straight Deal Owen Wister
  • Let me briefly speak of the first game of jackstraws, played at Paris in 1783.

    A Straight Deal Owen Wister
  • Another large game of jackstraws was being played in Europe in 1823.

    A Straight Deal Owen Wister
  • Then there were passed around bunches of jackstraws for each table.

    Marjorie at Seacote

    Carolyn Wells
  • The nutting game itself is played similarly to that well known children's game, "jackstraws."

    Suppers Paul Pierce
British Dictionary definitions for jackstraws


(functioning as sing) another name for spillikins
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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