[ win-dl-straw, win-l- ]
/ ˈwɪn dlˌstrɔ, ˈwɪn l- /

noun British Dialect.

a withered stalk of any of various grasses.
any of various long-stalked species of grass.
any tall, thin person.
any light or flimsy material or object.
Also especially Scot., winlestrae.

Origin of windlestraw

before 1000; Old English windelstrēaw (not attested in ME). See windle, straw Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for windlestraw

  • But before I found them I encountered a windlestraw which showed which way blew the wind and gave promise of a very gale.

British Dictionary definitions for windlestraw


/ (ˈwɪndəlˌstrɔː) /

noun Irish, Scot and English dialect

the dried stalk of any of various grasses
anything weak or feeble, esp a thin unhealthy person

Word Origin for windlestraw

Old English windelstrēaw, from windel basket, from windan to wind ² + strēaw straw 1
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