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straw in the wind

A small sign that hints of something that is about to happen: “It is difficult to tell whether the new regime will relax censorship, although a recent remark by the minister of culture may be a straw in the wind.”

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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 in the wind

straw in the wind

A slight hint of the future, as in The public unrest is a straw in the wind indicating future problems for the regime. This expression alludes to a straw showing in what direction the wind blows, an observation also behind the idiom straw vote.

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