\ˈstrāt \

Definition of straight 

(Entry 1 of 4)

1a : free from curves, bends, angles, or irregularities straight hair straight timber

b : generated by a point moving continuously in the same direction and expressed by a linear equation a straight line the straight segment of a curve

2a : lying along or holding to a direct or proper course or method a straight thinker

b : candid, frank a straight answer

c : coming directly from a trustworthy source a straight tip on the horses

d(1) : having the elements in an order the straight sequence of events

(2) : consecutive 12 straight days

e : having the cylinders arranged in a single straight line a straight 8-cylinder engine

f : plumb, vertical the picture isn't quite straight

3a : exhibiting honesty and fairness straight dealing

b : properly ordered or arranged set the kitchen straight set us straight on that issue also : correct get the facts straight

c : free from extraneous matter : unmixed straight whiskey

d : marked by no exceptions or deviations in support of a principle or party votes a straight Democratic ticket

e : having a fixed price for each regardless of the number sold

f : not deviating from an indicated pattern writes straight humor a straight-A student

g(1) : exhibiting no deviation from what is established or accepted as usual, normal, or proper : conventional also : square sense 5f

(2) : not using or under the influence of drugs or alcohol

h : heterosexual

4 : being the only form of remuneration on straight commission



Definition of straight (Entry 2 of 4)

: in a straight manner came straight home from work


straighted; straighting; straights

Definition of straight (Entry 3 of 4)

transitive verb

chiefly Scotland



Definition of straight (Entry 4 of 4)

1 : something that is straight: such as

a : a straight line or arrangement

b : straightaway especially : homestretch

c : a true or honest report or course

2a : a sequence (as of shots, strokes, or moves) resulting in a perfect score in a game or contest

b : first place at the finish of a horse race : win

3 : a poker hand containing five cards in sequence but not of the same suit — see poker illustration

4 : a person who adheres to conventional attitudes and mores

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Other Words from straight


straightish \ˈstrā-​tish \ adjective
straightly adverb
straightness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for straight

Synonyms: Adjective

direct, linear, right, straightaway, straightforward

Synonyms: Adverb

dead, direct, directly, due, plumb, plump, right, straightway

Antonyms: Adverb


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strait or straight?

Straight and strait are homophones (“one of two or more words pronounced alike but different in meaning or derivation or spelling”), and many people are in the habit of confusing such creatures, particularly when used in fixed phrases. If you express no emotion you have a straight face; an upright person is a straight shooter; a straight flush is “a poker hand containing five cards of the same suit in sequence.” However, if you find yourself in a difficult situation you are in dire straits. Straitjacket and straitlaced are the more commonly used forms for the restrictive garment and the “strict in manners” adjective, although straightjacket and straightlaced are also occasionally found.

Examples of straight in a Sentence


She has long, straight hair. The flagpole is perfectly straight. The picture isn't quite straight. We sat in the airport for five straight hours.


She walked straight up to him and slapped him in the face. The tunnel goes straight through the mountain. The library is straight ahead. He was so drunk he couldn't walk straight. She sat with her legs straight out. The tree fell straight down. The car went straight off the road. She told him straight to his face that she hated him. Pine trees stood straight along the path. Sit up straight and don't slouch.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

But if the regular season is a race, the Seahawks — winners of four straight — are sprinting to the finish line. Mike Vorel, The Seattle Times, "Seahawks veteran leader Duane Brown doesn’t move like an offensive lineman. Here’s why.," 12 Dec. 2018 Get your curried or barbecued goat fix at Quán Ăn Diêu Thông, then hit Tung Café, a louche 1960s-era boîte straight out of a Wong Kar-Wai film. Peter Jon Lindberg, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Take Your Vietnam Trip to the Next Level," 20 Nov. 2018 With just two games left before the All-Star break, the Orioles (26-69) have lost three straight and 10 of 12 overall. Jon Meoli,, "Tanner Scott can't close the door, and Orioles open series with 5-4 loss to Rangers," 14 July 2018 As soon as her inauguration on the steps of City Hall was over Wednesday, London Breed walked back into the building and straight to Room 200. Trisha Thadani,, "On 1st day, SF Mayor Breed makes herself at home and invites a few friends," 12 July 2018 Drinking a beer after Sunday’s victory, a fourth straight walk-off win for Lehigh Valley, Eshelman appeared happy for a three-day respite as his team entered the all-star break atop the International League. Mitchell Gladstone,, "Phillies minor leaguer Tom Eshelman working through struggles," 10 July 2018 Introduced in Season 9, the Golden Buzzer allows each judge to move one contestant straight to the quarterfinals. Matthew Wilson, USA TODAY, "'AGT': Singer Makayla Phillips, 15, feels the love from Heidi Klum, gets the Golden Buzzer," 10 July 2018 Down 70% from its December high after sliding for a fourth straight day on Friday, Bitcoin is getting ever-closer to matching the Nasdaq Composite Index’s 78% peak-to-trough plunge after the U.S. dot-com bubble burst. Bloomberg, Fortune, "Bitcoin's Bad Year Keeps Getting Worse. It's Now Fallen 70% From Its High," 29 June 2018 But even thoughtful articles on these subjects seem always to devolve to pitting warring factions against each other: black versus white, women versus men, gay versus straight. Leslie Henderson, Scientific American, "Why Our Brains See the World as "Us" versus "Them"," 22 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

By doing this, the president would preserve the fast-track procedures of TPA, including a straight-up, simple majority vote requirement in the Senate. Pat Toomey, WSJ, "Let’s Vote on the New Nafta in the Current Congress," 20 Nov. 2018 Four of 10 panelists pick the Seahawks straight up. Seattle Times Sports Staff, The Seattle Times, "Seattle Seahawks vs. Detroit Lions: Week 8 national media predictions," 26 Oct. 2018 But the shade Not Your Basic Witch is a straight-up black powder pigment. Marci Robin, Allure, "Wet n Wild's Not Your Basic Witch Highlighter Is My $5 Secret for a Witchy Smoky Eye," 5 Oct. 2018 The market will not price in straight away a disruptive no deal outcome, most people still think that as unlikely. Paul Hannon, WSJ, "Investors Prepare for Another Brexit Surprise," 27 Nov. 2018 That’s too bad, as the series offers a soulful, thoughtful look at the human cost of the military industrial complex, right alongside a twisty conspiracy thriller straight out of the 1970s. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Amazon and Julia Roberts dive into a twisty paranoid thriller.," 20 Nov. 2018 Spirals were giving extra spring with the help of small-sized curling irons, short styles and natural textures were zhuzhed up and topped with product to shine, while long, straight and wavy hair was given the bouncy Victoria's Secret blowout. Sophia Panych, Allure, "Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2018: Why Charlotte Tilbury Didn't Use Highlighter on the Angels," 8 Nov. 2018 In the second episode of the series, Sabrina makes nice with her enemies, the Weird Sisters, in order to scare some boys straight. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "5 Last-Minute "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" Halloween Costumes That Are Totally Spellbinding," 30 Oct. 2018 Some are straight-up horror-comedies—with no shortage of thrills. Joyce Bautista Ferrari, Marie Claire, "The Best Horror Movies That Aren't Too Scary," 29 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'straight.' 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 straight


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1645, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for straight


Middle English streght, straight, from past participle of strecchen to stretch — more at stretch

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Statistics for straight

Last Updated

15 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for straight

The first known use of straight was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for straight



English Language Learners Definition of straight

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: not having curves, bends, or angles

: vertical or level

: following one after the other in order : following each other without interruption



English Language Learners Definition of straight (Entry 2 of 3)

: in a straight or direct way

: in or into a vertical position

: without any delay : directly or immediately



English Language Learners Definition of straight (Entry 3 of 3)

: a straight part of a racecourse

: a hand of playing cards in poker that contains five cards in sequence (such as a five, a six, a seven, an eight, and a nine)


\ˈstrāt \
straighter; straightest

Kids Definition of straight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : following the same direction throughout its length : not having curves, bends, or angles a straight line

2 : being perfectly vertical or horizontal Does the flagpole look straight?

3 : following one after the other in order We worked for five straight hours.

4 : not changing from an indicated pattern I got straight A's on my report card.

5 : not straying from what is right or honest a straight answer

6 : correctly ordered or arranged We set the kitchen straight.

7 : correct entry 2 sense 1 Let's get the facts straight.

8 : not showing any feeling especially of amusement a straight face

Other Words from straight

straightness noun



Kids Definition of straight (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : without delay or hesitation I came straight home.

2 : in a direct and uninterrupted course : without turning or curving aside The library is straight ahead. Skye looked into the closet and straight through into another bedroom …— Jeanne Birdsall, The Penderwicks

3 : in or into an upright position stand straight

4 : without interruption They have been working for three days straight.

5 : in a normal or correct way I can't think straight.

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Comments on straight

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


having a pattern of small flowers

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