verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

Nearby words

  1. stray,
  2. strayhorn,
  3. strayhorn, billy,
  4. strays,
  5. strayve,
  6. streak culture,
  7. streak plate,
  8. streaker,
  9. streaking,
  10. streaky


    blue streak. blue streak.

Origin of streak

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

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for streak

British Dictionary definitions for streak




a long thin mark, stripe, or trace of some contrasting colour
  1. (of lightning) a sudden flash
  2. (as modifier)streak lightning
an element or trace, as of some quality or characteristic
a strip, vein, or layerfatty streaks
a short stretch or run, esp of good or bad luck
mineralogy the powdery mark made by a mineral when rubbed on a hard or rough surface: its colour is an important distinguishing characteristic
bacteriol the inoculation of a solid culture medium by drawing a wire contaminated with the microorganisms across it
informal an act or the practice of running naked through a public place


(tr) to mark or daub with a streak or streaks
(intr) to form streaks or become streaked
(intr) to move rapidly in a straight line
(intr) informal to run naked through a crowd of people in a public place in order to shock or amuse them
Derived Formsstreaked, adjectivestreaker, nounstreaklike, adjective

Word Origin for streak

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


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

Word Origin and History for streak
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for streak




A line, stripe, smear, or band differentiated by color or texture from its surroundings.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for streak



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

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.