[ straw ]
/ strɔ /
a single stalk or stem, especially of certain species of grain, chiefly wheat, rye, oats, and barley.
a mass of such stalks, especially after drying and threshing, used as fodder.
material, fibers, etc., made from such stalks, as used for making hats or baskets.
the negligible value of one such stalk; trifle; least bit: not to care a straw.
a tube, usually of paper or glass, for sucking up a beverage from a container: to sip lemonade through a straw.
anything of possible but dubious help in a desperate circumstance.
a straw hat.
of, pertaining to, containing, or made of straw: a straw hat.
of the color of straw; pale yellow.
of little value or consequence; worthless.
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Question 1 of 10
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 strawstraw·less, adjectivestraw·like, adjective
Words nearby straw
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for strawer (1 of 3)
/ (strɔː) /
- stalks of threshed grain, esp of wheat, rye, oats, or barley, used in plaiting hats, baskets, etc, or as fodder
- (as modifier)a straw hat
a single dry or ripened stalk, esp of a grass
a long thin hollow paper or plastic tube or stem of a plant, used for sucking up liquids into the mouth
(usually used with a negative) anything of little value or importanceI wouldn't give a straw for our chances
a measure or remedy that one turns to in desperation (esp in the phrases clutch or grasp at a straw or straws)
- a pale yellow colour
- (as adjective)straw hair
straw in the wind a hint or indication
the last straw a small incident, setback, etc that, coming after others, proves intolerable
mainly US having little value or substance
See also man of straw
Derived forms of strawstrawlike, 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 strawer (2 of 3)
/ (strɔː) /
archaic another word for strew
British Dictionary definitions for strawer (3 of 3)
/ (strɔː) /
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
Idioms and Phrases with strawer
In addition to the idioms beginning with straw
- straw boss
- straw in the wind
- straw that breaks the camel's back
- straw vote
- draw straws
- grasp at straws
- last straw
- make bricks without straw
- not worth a dime (straw)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.