See more synonyms for straddle on
verb (used without object), strad·dled, strad·dling.
  1. to walk, stand, or sit with the legs wide apart; stand or sit astride.
  2. to stand wide apart, as the legs.
  3. to favor or appear to favor both sides of an issue, political division, or the like, at once; maintain an equivocal position.
verb (used with object), strad·dled, strad·dling.
  1. to walk, stand, or sit with one leg on each side of; stand or sit astride of: to straddle a horse.
  2. to spread (the legs) wide apart.
  3. to favor or appear to favor both sides of (an issue, political division, etc.).
  1. an act or instance of straddling.
  2. the distance straddled over.
  3. the taking of a noncommittal position.
  4. Finance.
    1. an option consisting of a put and a call combined, both at the same current market price and for the same specified period.
    2. a similar transaction in securities or futures in which options to buy and sell the same security or commodity are purchased simultaneously in order to hedge one's risk.

Origin of straddle

1555–65; apparently frequentative (with -le) of variant stem of stride
Related formsstrad·dler, nounstrad·dling·ly, adverbun·strad·dled, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for straddle

ride, mount, stride, hedge, sprawl, bestride, bestraddle, noncommittal

Examples from the Web for straddle

Contemporary Examples of straddle

  • That ability to straddle two sides of an acrimonious divide has served Leavell well—not only in politics, but also in music.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Stones’ Keyboard Man Is Ardent Forester

    David A. Graham

    June 16, 2011

  • Spend some time with Fiasco and you can watch him straddle that line all day long.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Lupe Fiasco's Revenge

    Seth Colter Walls

    March 14, 2011

  • They're mostly girls who straddle the line between geeky and bad-ass, a look familiar to most of today's high-school students.

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    My $16 Videogame Striptease

    Brian Ries

    October 14, 2010

  • In an Internet video announcing his candidacy, Brown attempted this straddle without mentioning Schwarzenegger by name.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Arnold's Third Term

    Joe Mathews

    March 5, 2010

Historical Examples of straddle

  • I've been here a year and I'm crazy to straddle a horse and ride off into the West.

  • His mind was 'straddle the furrow' when Mr Ottarson came in.

    Eben Holden

    Irving Bacheller

  • No. 1 then has the right to straddle the ante, and he may stake two pence.

  • C, who has the right to straddle the ante does not do so, so no other player may.

  • The right to straddle shall belong to the player to the left of ante.

British Dictionary definitions for straddle


  1. (tr) to have one leg, part, or support on each side of
  2. (tr) US and Canadian informal to be in favour of both sides of (something)
  3. (intr) to stand, walk, or sit with the legs apart
  4. (tr) to spread (the legs) apart
  5. military to fire a number of shots slightly beyond and slightly short of (a target) to determine the correct range
  6. (intr) (in poker, of the second player after the dealer) to double the ante before looking at one's cards
  1. the act or position of straddling
  2. a noncommittal attitude or stand
  3. commerce a contract or option permitting its purchaser to either sell or buy securities or commodities within a specified period of time at specified prices. It is a combination of a put and a call optionCompare spread (def. 24c)
  4. athletics a high-jumping technique in which the body is parallel with the bar and the legs straddle it at the highest point of the jump
  5. (in poker) the stake put up after the ante in poker by the second player after the dealer
  6. Irish a wooden frame placed on a horse's back to which panniers are attached
Derived Formsstraddler, noun

Word Origin for straddle

C16: frequentative formed from obsolete strad- (Old English strode), past stem of stride
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

Word Origin and History for straddle

1560s, probably an alteration of stridlen, frequentative of striden (see stride). U.S. colloquial sense of "take up an equivocal position, appear to favor both sides" is attested from 1838. Related: Straddled; straddling. The noun is first recorded 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper