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[street] /strit/
a public thoroughfare, usually paved, in a village, town, or city, including the sidewalk or sidewalks.
such a thoroughfare together with adjacent buildings, lots, etc.:
Houses, lawns, and trees composed a very pleasant street.
the roadway of such a thoroughfare, as distinguished from the sidewalk:
to cross a street.
a main way or thoroughfare, as distinguished from a lane, alley, or the like.
the inhabitants or frequenters of a street:
The whole street gossiped about the new neighbors.
the Street, Informal.
  1. the section of a city associated with a given profession or trade, especially when concerned with business or finance, as Wall Street.
  2. the principal theater and entertainment district of any of a number of U.S. cities.
of, on, or adjoining a street:
a street door just off the sidewalk.
taking place or appearing on the street:
street fight; street musicians.
coarse; crude; vulgar:
street language.
suitable for everyday wear:
street clothes; street dress.
the street price of a new computer; the street value of a drug.
on / in the street,
  1. without a home:
    You'll be out on the street if the rent isn't paid.
  2. without a job or occupation; idle.
  3. out of prison or police custody; at liberty.
up one's street, British. alley1 (def 7).
Origin of street
before 900; Middle English; Old English strēt, strǣt; cognate with Dutch straat, German Strasse; all ≪ Latin (via) strāta paved (road); see stratum
Related forms
streetless, adjective
streetlike, adjective
interstreet, adjective
1. roadway, concourse. Street, alley, avenue, boulevard all refer to public ways or roads in municipal areas. A street is a road in a village, town, or city, especially a road lined with buildings. An alley is a narrow street or footway, especially at the rear of or between rows of buildings or lots. An avenue is properly a prominent street, often one bordered by fine residences and impressive buildings, or with a row of trees on each side. A boulevard is a beautiful, broad street, lined with rows of stately trees, especially used as a promenade. In some cities street and avenue are used interchangeably, the only difference being that those running one direction (say, north and south) are given one designation and those crossing them are given the other. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for street
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Sorely distressed, he walked back to his lodgings in Thirty-second street.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • “I would not be seen in the street with that scarecrow,” murmured Giles.

    The Armourer's Prentices Charlotte M. Yonge
  • Mrs. Bines had never seen so many children as flooded this street.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • And then by a street sign she saw that she was near the home of Philippe.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • At Thirty-second street he ran into Burman, with whom he had all but cornered wheat.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
British Dictionary definitions for street


  1. (capital when part of a name) a public road that is usually lined with buildings, esp in a town: Oxford Street
  2. (as modifier): a street directory
the buildings lining a street
the part of the road between the pavements, used by vehicles
the people living, working, etc, in a particular street
(modifier) of or relating to the urban counterculture: street style, street drug
man in the street, an ordinary or average citizen
on the streets
  1. earning a living as a prostitute
  2. homeless
(informal) streets ahead of, superior to, more advanced than, etc
(informal) streets apart, markedly different
(informal) up one's street, right up one's street, (just) what one knows or likes best
verb (transitive)
(Austral) to outdistance
Word Origin
Old English strǣt, from Latin via strāta paved way (strāta, from strātus, past participle of sternere to stretch out); compare Old Frisian strēte, Old High German strāza; see stratus
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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Word Origin and History for street

Old English stret (Mercian, Kentish), stræt (West Saxon) "street, high road," an early West Germanic borrowing from Late Latin strata, used elliptically for via strata "paved road," from fem. past participle of Latin sternere "lay down, spread out, pave," from PIE *stre-to- "to stretch, extend," from root *stere- "to spread, extend, stretch out" (see structure (n.)). The Latin is also the source of Spanish estrada, Old French estrée, Italian strada.

"The normal term in OE for a paved way or Roman road, later extended to other roads, urban streets, and in SE dialects to a street of dwellings, a straggling village or hamlet" [Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names]. Originally of Roman roads (e.g. Watling Street, Icknield Street). "In the Middle Ages, a road or way was merely a direction in which people rode or went, the name street being reserved for the made road." [Weekley] Used since c.1400 to mean "the people in the street;" modern sense of "the realm of the people as the source of political support" dates from 1931. Man in the street "ordinary person, non-expert" is attested from 1831. Street people "the homeless" is from 1967; street smarts is from 1972; street-credibility is from 1979.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for street



Having to do with the streets and the street life of a city, esp of a ghetto: Curtis Sliwa, founder of the street-tough Guardian Angels/ The defendant was not some street punk with a long criminal record (1967+)

Related Terms

on easy street, not a one-way street, two-way street

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with street
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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