strad·​dle | \ ˈstra-dᵊl \
straddled; straddling\ ˈstrad-​liŋ , ˈstra-​dᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of straddle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to stand, sit, or walk with the legs wide apart especially : to sit astride
2 : to spread out irregularly : sprawl
3 : to favor or seem to favor two apparently opposite sides
4 : to execute a commodities market spread

transitive verb

1 : to stand, sit, or be astride of straddle a horse campsites straddling the river
2 : to be noncommittal in regard to straddle an issue
3 : to belong in part to (each of several categories) a movie straddling genres
straddle the fence
: to be in a position of neutrality or indecision



Definition of straddle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or position of one who straddles
2 : a noncommittal or equivocal position

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Other Words from straddle


straddler \ ˈstrad-​lər , ˈstra-​dᵊl-​ər \ noun

Examples of straddle in a Sentence


Turkey straddles Asia and Europe.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The factory, which straddles Detroit and the smaller enclave of Hamtramck, opened in 1985 despite opposition from neighborhood groups that resisted GM’s efforts to acquire and clear land for its construction. Adrienne Roberts, WSJ, "GM’s Plan to Stop Production in Detroit Dismays Workers, Community," 27 Nov. 2018 The West Coast offers the most economical route because of its relative proximity to the largest coal-producing region in the U.S.: the Powder River Basin, which straddles the Montana-Wyoming border. Matthew Brown, The Seattle Times, "West Coast military installations eyed for US fuel exports," 16 Oct. 2018 There will be three Republicans on the general election ballot for three House of Delegates seats in Legislative District 7, which straddles eastern Baltimore County and western Harford. David Anderson, The Aegis, "McComas, Wagner win tight Harford primary races after final ballot canvass," 6 July 2018 Earlier this month, Lam Babu Sherpa went missing on Everest, which straddles the border between Nepal and Tibet. Rajneesh Bhandari, New York Times, "Death of Japanese Climber on Everest Raises Toll This Month to 3," 21 May 2018 Disagreements like those involving Douglas Park, which straddles a neighborhood of African-American and Latino residents, have also found their way north. William Lee,, "Students learn grass-roots activism while campaigning to rename Douglas Park," 3 May 2018 For the three years straddling the 2015 Paris conference, carbon-dioxide emissions were more or less flat. Rupert Darwall, WSJ, "Defeat in the Air at the Climate Conference," 18 Dec. 2018 The fires straddling Mendocino and Lake counties have burned seven homes and forced the evacuation of Lakeport and small surrounding communities. Fox News, "The Latest: Fire crews from 10 states helping in California," 31 July 2018 Businesses at places like Lake Mohave, an artificial reservoir straddling the Arizona-Nevada border, have concerns that the pumping station would cause its reservoir to shrink. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Hoover Dam Changed America—And It Might Do It Again," 27 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The percentages are derived from an options trade known as a straddle, which entails buying both bullish and bearish contracts that can be exercised at the same price for the stock. Gunjan Banerji, WSJ, "Options Suggest Big Moves in Facebook, Apple, Alibaba Stock," 29 Oct. 2018 The sprawling, 11-square-mile piece of land straddles Interstates 20 and 30 (near where the two highways merge) and is in the Aledo school district. Gordon Dickson, star-telegram, "This former ranch could have 50,000 Fort Worth residents. 'In 10 years, this will be a city in itself'," 9 July 2018 District 5 straddles parts of Miami and Miami Beach, with a heavy concentration of active voters in Little Havana and other enclaves when older Cuban-American voters are considered vital to win in low-turnout elections. Douglas Hanks, miamiherald, "Eileen Higgins wins Miami-Dade commission seat in upset over Zoraida Barreiro," 19 June 2018 This 13,000-square-mile swathe of shhh straddles West Virginia’s border with Virginia and Maryland. Laura Mallonee, WIRED, "Want to Hunt Aliens? Go to West Virginia's Low-Tech 'Quiet Zone'," 3 May 2018 This year’s draft straddles that temperamental crisis more than most. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The Big Questions That Will Shape the NFL Draft," 26 Apr. 2018 Today, the spot where President Garfield was shot straddles Constitution Avenue between the National Gallery of Art and the Federal Trade Commission across the street, one of the busiest spots in the city. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Tariffs give endangered Dems an out," 7 Mar. 2018 Today, the spot where President Garfield was shot straddles Constitution Avenue between the National Gallery of Art and the Federal Trade Commission across the street, one of the busiest spots in the city. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Tariffs give endangered Dems an out," 7 Mar. 2018 Side Squats Hang in a straddle forward fold, point your toes outward, and bend the right knee, taking the right elbow inside the right knee and the left foot flexed. Chelsea Peng, Marie Claire, "5 Exercises to Do on a Road Trip (Between Bathroom Breaks)," 28 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'straddle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of straddle


1565, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for straddle


irregular from stride

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Statistics for straddle

Last Updated

19 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for straddle

The first known use of straddle was in 1565

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More Definitions for straddle



English Language Learners Definition of straddle

: to sit or ride with a leg on either side of (something)
: to be on both sides of (something)
: to have parts that are in (different places, regions, etc.)


strad·​dle | \ ˈstra-dᵊl \
straddled; straddling

Kids Definition of straddle

1 : to stand, sit, or walk with the legs spread wide apart
2 : to stand, sit, or ride with a leg on either side of He straddled the horse.
3 : to seem to favor two opposite sides of Not wanting to offend anyone, she straddled the issue.


strad·​dle | \ ˈstrad-ᵊl\

Legal Definition of straddle

: the purchase of an equal number of put options and call options on the same underlying securities with the same price and maturity date

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More from Merriam-Webster on straddle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with straddle

Spanish Central: Translation of straddle

Nglish: Translation of straddle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of straddle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on straddle

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