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windlestraw

[win-dl-straw, win-l-]
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noun British Dialect.
  1. a withered stalk of any of various grasses.
  2. any of various long-stalked species of grass.
  3. any tall, thin person.
  4. any light or flimsy material or object.
Also especially Scot., winlestrae.

Origin of windlestraw

before 1000; Old English windelstrēaw (not attested in ME). See windle, straw
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for windlestraw

Historical Examples

  • But before I found them I encountered a windlestraw which showed which way blew the wind and gave promise of a very gale.

    The Jacket (The Star-Rover)

    Jack London


British Dictionary definitions for windlestraw

windlestraw

noun Irish, Scot and English dialect
  1. the dried stalk of any of various grasses
  2. anything weak or feeble, esp a thin unhealthy person

Word Origin

Old English windelstrēaw, from windel basket, from windan to wind ² + strēaw straw 1
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