Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


noun \ˈstrēk\

Simple Definition of streak

  • : a long, thin mark that is a different color from its background

  • : a quality that is noticeable especially because it is different from a person's other qualities

  • : a period of repeated success or failure

Full Definition of streak

  1. 1 :  a line or mark of a different color or texture from the ground :  stripe

  2. 2a :  the color of the fine powder of a mineral obtained by scratching or rubbing against a hard white surface and constituting an important distinguishing characterb :  inoculum implanted in a line on a solid mediumc :  any of numerous virus diseases of plants (as tobacco and corn) resembling mosaic but usually producing at least some linear markings

  3. 3a :  a narrow band of lightb :  a lightning bolt

  4. 4a :  a slight admixture :  trace <had a mean streak in him>b :  a brief run (as of luck)c :  a consecutive series <was on a winning streak>

  5. 5 :  a narrow layer (as of fat)

  6. 6 :  an act or instance of streaking

Examples of streak

  1. He left streaks where he wiped the glass.

  2. The miners had streaks of coal dust on their faces.

  3. a streak of 11 straight victories

Origin of streak

Middle English streke, from Old English strica; akin to Old High German strich line, Latin striga row — more at strike

First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Mineralogy Terms




Simple Definition of streak

  • : to make long lines of a different color on or in (something)

  • : to go or move very quickly

  • : to run through a public place naked in order to get attention

Full Definition of streak

  • transitive verb
    1. :  to make streaks on or in <tears streaking her face>

    2. intransitive verb
    3. 1 :  to move swiftly :  rush <a jet streaking across the sky>

    4. 2 :  to have a streak (as of winning or outstanding performances)

    5. 3 :  to run naked through a public place

    streak·er noun

    Examples of streak

    1. A shooting star streaked across the sky.

    2. A skateboarder streaked past us.


    First Known Use of streak


    Seen and Heard

    What made you want to look up streak? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


    February 11, 2016

    the holder of an office

    Get Word of the Day daily email!


    Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


    How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

    16.96 pounds 2.2 pounds 100 pounds 196.5 pounds
    Name That Thing

    10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

    SCRABBLE® Sprint

    Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.