adjective, straight·er, straight·est.




    go straight, Informal. to live a law-abiding life; no longer engage in crime.
    play it straight, Informal. to do something without jokes, tricks, subterfuge, distortions, or the like: a comedian who plays it straight when he crusades against drug abuse.
    straight off, without delay; immediately: I told him straight off what I thought about the matter.Also straight away.
    straight up, (of a cocktail) served without ice: a gin martini straight up.

Origin of straight

1250–1300; (adj.) Middle English; orig. past participle of strecchen to stretch; (adv. and noun) Middle English, derivative of the adj.
Related formsstraight·ly, adverbstraight·ness, nouno·ver·straight, adjectiveo·ver·straight·ly, adverbo·ver·straight·ness, nounsu·per·straight, adjectiveun·straight, adjectiveun·straight·ness, noun
Can be confusedstraight strait

Synonyms for straight

Antonyms for straight Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for straight-up

Contemporary Examples of straight-up

Historical Examples of straight-up

  • Muldoon knew he didn't stand a chance in a straight-up fight, not with these two.

  • Of course, she only meant bookcases on the straight-up walls.

    It Never Can Happen Again

    William De Morgan

  • A straight-up rider, the kind a fellow wants when Old Man Trouble comes knocking at the door.

    Bucky O'Connor

    William MacLeod Raine

  • You'll never know how a man's eyes ache to see a straight-up white man in this land of greasers.

    Bucky O'Connor

    William MacLeod Raine

  • "Pedro is a straight-up rider, but he ain't got it in him to master Teddy—no; nor no man ain't," contributed Yeager again proudly.

    A Daughter of the Dons

    William MacLeod Raine

British Dictionary definitions for straight-up



not curved or crooked; continuing in the same direction without deviating
straightforward, outright, or candida straight rejection
even, level, or upright in shape or position
in keeping with the facts; accurate
honest, respectable, or reliable
accurate or logicalstraight reasoning
continuous; uninterrupted
(esp of an alcoholic drink) undiluted; neat
not crisp, kinked, or curlystraight hair
correctly arranged; orderly
(of a play, acting style, etc) straightforward or serious
journalism (of a story, article, etc) giving the facts without unnecessary embellishment
US sold at a fixed unit price irrespective of the quantity sold
boxing (of a blow) delivered with an unbent arma straight left
(of the cylinders of an internal-combustion engine) in line, rather than in a V-formation or in some other arrangementa straight eight
a slang word for heterosexual
informal no longer owing or being owed somethingif you buy the next round we'll be straight
slang conventional in views, customs, appearance, etc
slang not using narcotics; not addicted


in a straight line or direct course
immediately; at oncehe came straight back
in an even, level, or upright position
without cheating, lying, or unreliabilitytell it to me straight
continuously; uninterruptedly
US without discount regardless of the quantity sold
(often foll by out) frankly; candidlyhe told me straight out
go straight informal to reform after having been dishonest or a criminal


the state of being straight
a straight line, form, part, or position
British a straight part of a racetrackUS name: straightaway
  1. five cards that are in sequence irrespective of suit
  2. a hand containing such a sequence
  3. (as modifier)a straight flush
slang a conventional person
slang a heterosexual person
slang a cigarette containing only tobacco, without marijuana, etc
Derived Formsstraightly, adverbstraightness, noun

Word Origin for straight

C14: from the past participle of Old English streccan to stretch
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 straight-up



mid-14c., "direct, undeviating, not crooked," properly "that which is stretched," adjectival use of Old English streht (altered, by analogy with streccan, from earlier streaht), past participle of streccan "to stretch" (see stretch (v.)). Meaning "true, direct, honest" is from 1520s. Of communication, "clear, unambiguous," from 1862. Sense of "undiluted, uncompromising" (e.g. straight whiskey, 1874) is American English, first recorded 1856.

Theatrical sense of "serious" (as opposed to popular or comic) is attested from 1895; vaudeville slang straight man first attested 1923. Go straight in the underworld slang sense is from 1919; straighten up "become respectable" is from 1907. Straight arrow "decent, conventional person" is 1969, from archetypal Native American brave name. To keep a straight face first recorded 1897; straight shooter is from 1928; straight-edge as a punk subculture is attested by 1987.



"conventional," especially "heterosexual," 1941, probably in part from straight and narrow path "course of conventional morality and law-abiding behavior," which is based on a misreading of Matt. vii:14 (where the gate is actually strait), and the other influence seems to be from strait-laced.



1864, "straight part of a race track," from straight (adj.1). Poker sense attested from 1841. Meaning "conventional person" is first recorded 1967 (see straight (adj.2)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with straight-up


In addition to the idioms beginning with straight

  • straight and narrow, the
  • straight as an arrow
  • straighten out
  • straighten up
  • straight face
  • straight from the horse's mouth
  • straight from the shoulder
  • straight goods
  • straight off
  • straight out
  • straight talk
  • straight ticket
  • straight up

also see:

  • (straight) from the horse's mouth
  • get something straight
  • give it to (someone straight)
  • go straight
  • keep a straight face
  • right (straight) out
  • set straight
  • shoot straight
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.