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jackstraw

[jak-straw] /ˈdʒækˌstrɔ/
noun
1.
one of a group of strips of wood or similar objects, as straws or toothpicks, used in the game of jackstraws.
2.
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.
3.
Obsolete.
  1. a straw-stuffed figure of a man; scarecrow; straw man.
  2. an insignificant person.
Origin of jackstraw
1590-1600
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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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

jackstraws

/ˈdʒækˌstrɔːz/
noun
1.
(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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