From Middle English straw, from Old English strēaw, from Proto-West Germanic *strau, from Proto-Germanic *strawą (“that which is strewn”). Cognate with Dutch stro, Walloon strin, German Stroh, Norwegian and Swedish strå, Albanian shtrohë (“kennel”).
- (UK) IPA(key): /stɹɔː/
- (US) IPA(key): /stɹɔ/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɔː
- (countable) A dried stalk of a cereal plant.
- (uncountable) Such dried stalks considered collectively; this bulk matter may be a chief salable product, a by-product, fodder, bedding, or green manure, depending on region and on current market conditions.
- (countable) A drinking straw.
- (uncommon) A pale, yellowish beige colour, like that of a dried straw.
- (figurative) Anything proverbially worthless; the least possible thing.
- 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.
- a drowning man will clutch at a straw
- bang straw
- bendy straw
- buy straw hats in winter
- clutch at a straw
- crazy straw
- grab at a straw
- grasp at a straw
- in the straw
- onion straw
- sampling straw
- spoon straw
- straw bail
- straw bed
- straw bid
- straw donor
- straw itch
- straw lily
- straw nail
- straw-necked ibis
- straw owner
- straw purchase
- straw purchaser
- straw shoe
- straw stem
- straw tick
- → Japanese: ストロー
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
straw (not comparable)
- Made of straw.
- Synonym: strawen
- straw hat
- Of a pale, yellowish beige colour, like that of a dried straw.
- (figurative) 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.
- cheese straw
- drinking straw
- draw the short straw
- grasp at straws
- the last straw
- the final straw
- make bricks without straw
- man of straw
- pine straw
- silly straw
- straw boss
- straw buyer
- straw hat
- straw in the wind
- straw man
- straw mushroom
- straw poll
- the straw that broke the camel's back
- straw that stirs the drink
- straw vote
- straw wine
- To lay straw around plants to protect them from frost.
- (obsolete, slang) To sell straws on the streets in order to cover the giving to the purchaser of things usually banned, such as pornography.
- 1846, James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps, Letters of the kings of England, page 116:
- It was the custom for the disaffected of those days to make known their grievances by distributing papers on doors of public buildings, and even strawing them in the high way, for the benefit of the chance passenger.
- 1851, Henry Mayhew, London Labour and the London Poor:
- I have already alluded to "strawing," which can hardly be described as quackery. It is rather a piece of mountebankery. […] The strawer offers to sell any passer by in the streets a straw and give the purchaser a paper which he dares not sell. Accordingly as he judges of the character of his audience, so he intimates that the paper is political, libellous, irreligious, or indecent.
- 1884, Nicholas Pocock, Troubles Connected with the Prayer - Book 1549, page 108:
- Forasmoche as there be diverse lewd and sedicious [folks] personnes [being so given to sedicon as they care not f] whiche do labor nowe to mayntain the traitorous doings of the duke of Somerset, and for that purposed do ivise the most vile false and traitorous bills, papers, and boks that ever were harde off, strawing the same in the stretes, aswel within the Citie of London [and] as in diverse [other] townes and other places in the cuntrey; wherein they do falsly and traitorously travail to slaunder the kings mat Counsail, thinking therby to amase and abuse his Mat good subgietts, which be in a redynes to joyne with the said counsail for the delyverey of the king our soveraign Lords most Royal person, remayning to his great peril and damage in the said dukes custody, and for the restoring of this noble Realme to some better order and quietnes, whiche shalbe the benefite [of every man] of us all universally;
- 1998, Peter Hart, The I.R.A. and Its Enemies: Violence and Community in Cork, 1916-1923, →ISBN, page 182:
- Townspeople who saw 'strawing' and 'following the wran' as invasions by 'lusty young men of the country' saw Volunteer events in the same way.
- The remaining plant material after cultivation; halm, straw.
- An individual piece or section of straw.
- (figurative) Anything slight or worthless; the least possible thing.
- (rare) A measure of weight for candlewax.
- straw in Polish dictionaries at PWN