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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.

Related Words for straw in the wind

harbinger, indication, indicator, omen, portent, sign

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.