straw

[ straw ]
/ strɔ /

noun

adjective

Idioms for straw

    catch/clutch/grasp at a straw/straws/any straw(s), to seize at any chance, no matter how slight, of saving oneself from calamity.
    draw straws, to decide by lottery using straws or strawlike items of different lengths, usually with the short straw or straws determining the person chosen or the loser.

Origin of straw

before 950; Middle English; Old English strēaw; cognate with German Stroh; akin to strew

OTHER WORDS FROM straw

straw·less, adjectivestraw·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for straw

British Dictionary definitions for straw (1 of 3)

straw1
/ (strɔː) /

noun

adjective

mainly US having little value or substance
See also man of straw

Derived forms of straw

strawlike, adjective

Word Origin for straw

Old English streaw; related to Old Norse strā, Old Frisian strē, Old High German strō; see strew

British Dictionary definitions for straw (2 of 3)

straw2
/ (strɔː) /

verb

archaic another word for strew

British Dictionary definitions for straw (3 of 3)

Straw
/ (strɔː) /

noun

Jack, full name John Whitaker Straw. born 1946, British Labour politician; Home Secretary (1997–2001); Foreign Secretary (2001–06); Lord Chancellor (2007–10)
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

Cultural definitions for straw

grasp (clutch) at straws

To make a final, desperate effort: “The candidate made a few last attempts to discredit his opponent, but it was clear he was just grasping at straws.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with straw

straw

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.