EXAMPLES | WORD ORIGIN noun a mass of straw formed to resemble a man, as for a doll or scarecrow. a person whose importance or function is only nominal, as to cover another's activities; front. a fabricated or conveniently weak or innocuous person, object, matter, etc., used as a seeming adversary or argument: The issue she railed about was no more than a straw man. Origin of straw man
First recorded in
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for strawman Historical Examples of strawman
Then I learned that my indefinite gentleman had been a partner of the forger's brother, and that his name was
We'll drag out Mr.
Strawman, and lynch him to the big gate before they get along. British Dictionary definitions for strawman noun mainly US a figure of a man made from straw
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for strawman n.
1590s, "doll or scarecrow made of bound straw," from
straw (n.) + man (n.). Figuratively, in debates, by 1896. Man of straw "imaginary opponent" is recorded from 1620s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
A made-up version of an opponent's argument that can easily be defeated. To accuse people of attacking a straw man is to suggest that they are avoiding worthier opponents and more valid criticisms of their own position: “His speech had emotional appeal, but it wasn't really convincing because he attacked a straw man rather than addressing the real issues.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
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