[ streek ]
See synonyms for: streakstreakedstreaking on

  1. a long, narrow mark, smear, band of color, or the like: streaks of mud.

  2. a portion or layer of something, distinguished by color or nature from the rest; a vein or stratum: streaks of fat in meat.

  1. a vein, strain, or admixture of anything: a streak of humor.

  2. Informal.

    • a spell or run: a streak of good luck.

    • an uninterrupted series: The team had a losing streak of ten games.

  3. a flash leaving a visible line or aftereffect, as of lightning; bolt.

  4. Mineralogy. the line of powder obtained by scratching a mineral or rubbing it upon a hard, rough white surface, often differing in color from the mineral in the mass, and serving as an important distinguishing character.

  5. Plant Pathology.

    • an elongated, narrow, superficial lesion on stems or leaf veins, becoming brown and necrotic.

    • any disease characterized by such lesions.

verb (used with object)
  1. to mark with a streak or streaks; form streaks on: sunlight streaking the water with gold; frost streaking the windows.

  2. to lighten or color (strands of hair) for contrastive effect.

  1. to dispose, arrange, smear, spread, etc., in the form of a streak or streaks: to streak cold germs on a slide for microscopic study.

verb (used without object)
  1. to become streaked.

  2. to run, go, or work rapidly.

  1. to flash, as lightning.

  2. to make a sudden dash in public while naked, especially as a prank.

Idioms about streak

  1. blue streak. blue streak.

Origin of streak

First recorded before 1000; (for the noun) Middle English streke, akin to strike, Old English strica “stroke, line, mark”; cognate with German Strich, Gothic striks “stroke”; akin to Latin strigil strigil; (for the verb) late Middle English streken “to cross out,” derivative of the noun; cf. strike, stroke1

Other words for streak

Other words from streak

  • streaked·ly [streekt-lee, stree-kid-lee], /ˈstrikt li, ˈstri kɪd li/, adverb
  • streakedness, noun
  • streaker, noun
  • streaklike, adjective
  • in·ter·streak, verb (used with object)
  • un·streaked, adjective

Words Nearby streak Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use streak in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for streak (1 of 2)


/ (striːk) /

  1. a long thin mark, stripe, or trace of some contrasting colour

    • (of lightning) a sudden flash

    • (as modifier): streak lightning

  1. an element or trace, as of some quality or characteristic

  2. a strip, vein, or layer: fatty streaks

  3. a short stretch or run, esp of good or bad luck

  4. mineralogy the powdery mark made by a mineral when rubbed on a hard or rough surface: its colour is an important distinguishing characteristic

  5. bacteriol the inoculation of a solid culture medium by drawing a wire contaminated with the microorganisms across it

  6. informal an act or the practice of running naked through a public place

  1. (tr) to mark or daub with a streak or streaks

  2. (intr) to form streaks or become streaked

  1. (intr) to move rapidly in a straight line

  2. (intr) informal to run naked through a crowd of people in a public place in order to shock or amuse them

Origin of streak

Old English strica, related to Old Frisian strike, Old High German strih, Norwegian, Swedish strika

Derived forms of streak

  • streaked, adjective
  • streaker, noun
  • streaklike, adjective

British Dictionary definitions for streak (2 of 2)


/ (striːk) /

  1. a variant spelling of strake (def. 2)

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

Scientific definitions for streak


[ strēk ]

  1. The characteristic color of a mineral after it has been ground into a powder. Because the streak of a mineral is not always the same as its natural color, it is a useful tool in mineral identification.

  2. A bacterial culture inoculated by drawing a bacteria-laden needle across the surface of a solid culture medium. Also called streak plate

  1. Any of various viral diseases of plants characterized by the appearance of discolored stripes on the leaves or stems.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with streak


see like greased lightning (a blue streak); talk someone's arm off (a blue streak); winning streak.

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