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See also: Straw


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From Middle English straw, from Old English strēaw, from Proto-Germanic *strawą (that which is strewn). Cognate with Dutch stro, Walloon strin, German Stroh, Norwegian and Swedish strå, Albanian strohë (kennel).



straw (countable and uncountable, plural straws)

  1. (countable) A dried stalk of a cereal plant.
  2. (uncountable) Such dried stalks considered collectively.
  3. (countable) A drinking straw.
  4. A pale, yellowish beige colour, like that of a dried straw.
    straw colour:  
  5. (figuratively) Anything proverbially worthless; the least possible thing.
    • 1889, Robin Hood and the Tanner, Francis James Child (editor), The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, Volume 3, page 138:
      ‘For thy sword and thy bow I care not a straw,
      Nor all thine arrows to boot;
      If I get a knop upon thy bare scop,
      Thou canst as well shite as shoote.’
    • 1857, Anthony Trollope, Barchester Towers:
      He also decided, which was more to his purpose, that Eleanor did not care a straw for him, and that very probably she did care a straw for his rival.
    • 1881, Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginibus Puerisque:
      To be deeply interested in the accidents of our existence, to enjoy keenly the mixed texture of human experience, rather leads a man to disregard precautions, and risk his neck against a straw.

Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


straw (not comparable)

  1. Made of straw.
    straw hat
  2. Of a pale, yellowish beige colour, like that of a dried straw.
  3. (figuratively) Imaginary, but presented as real.
    A straw enemy built up in the media to seem like a real threat, which then collapses like a balloon.


Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]


straw (third-person singular simple present straws, present participle strawing, simple past and past participle strawed)

  1. To lay straw around plants to protect them from frost.


Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


From Old English strēaw, from Proto-Germanic *strawą. Some forms are influenced by Old Norse strá.


  • IPA(key): /strau̯/, /streː/
  • (Northern ME) IPA(key): /strɑː/


straw (plural strawes or stren)

  1. The remaining plant material after cultivation; halm, straw.
  2. An individual piece or section of straw.
  3. (figuratively) Anything slight or worthless; the least possible thing.
  4. (rare) A measure of weight for candlewax.

Related terms[edit]