\ 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

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

Hammond Park, 259; Watermont, 226 The Hammond Park Stingrays defeated the Watermont Bulldogs on July 7 for its third straight win. Tim Schwartz, Howard County Times, "Local swim leagues gearing toward final stretch," 10 July 2018 Good pitching and and timely hitting led the Aberdeen IronBirds (10-10) to a second straight win over the Brooklyn Cyclones (11-9) Thursday night in New York. Randy Mcroberts, The Aegis, "Aberdeen beats Brooklyn again, 2-1," 6 July 2018 After Opening Day, the Orioles lost five straight, including a sweep in Houston on their first road trip, before taking three of four at Yankee Stadium. Jon Meoli,, "How did this happen? Orioles players examine why this season spun out of control," 24 June 2018 The Mets are 27-34 and have lost 10 straight at home, the longest such streak in the 10-year history of Citi Field. James Wagner, New York Times, "An Aaron Judge Homer Completes a Yankees Comeback Against the Mets," 10 June 2018 With the win, 949 became the first program to have players win four straight national titles from the 15 Open division to the 18 Open division. Matt Szabo,, "949 Volleyball Club makes history at Junior Nationals," 11 July 2018 The deal takes the Portugal native from one giant team to another: Real has won three straight UEFA Champions League titles and four of the last five, while Juventus has 34 Italian league titles and two European Cups. Jonathan Tannenwald,, "Will Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus debut come in Philadelphia vs. Bayern Munich?," 10 July 2018 The Cardinals are hoping to win a sixth straight Liberty Hardball title. Gary Curreri,, "Quadruple bypass doesn't slow down doctor on Liberty Hardball diamond," 7 July 2018 The Celtics won eight straight titles in the 60s and won 10 of 12 overall. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Golden State Warriors just copying the path of past NBA champs," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Extend your left leg straight out no lower than the hip. Mike Candelaria,, "Got 5 minutes? You have time to exercise," 11 July 2018 If a tick has attached, remove it carefully, using tweezers to pull the tick straight out. Dipesh Navsaria, Houston Chronicle, "What parents should know to prevent — and deal with — bug bites," 6 July 2018 There have been high school baseball players from Michigan taken in the first round — St. Louis drafted Nick Plummer in the first round of the 2015 draft, straight out of Brother Rice. Detroit Free Press, "Meet Luke Leto, Michigan's best baseball prospect since Derek Jeter," 24 June 2018 Two prospects went high straight out of high school. David Furones,, "MLB draft Day 2: Calvary Christian's Raynel Delgado drafted by Indians," 5 June 2018 Make a fist with your left hand and extend that arm straight out to the side. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Strengthen Your Entire Body With This 3-Move Kettlebell Circuit From Celebrity Trainer Ben Bruno," 30 May 2018 The Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum has landed a straight-to-series order at HBO for Victorian drama The Nevers. Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "Joss Whedon Sci-Fi Drama Ordered Straight to Series at HBO," 13 July 2018 After leaving the site, the Raos went straight to Tiffany’s, Ishu said. Allyson Chiu, Washington Post, "California wildfires: From the ashes of a couple’s burned down home came the sweetest idea," 9 July 2018 In a trend that has been widely lauded, the proportion of high school graduates who go straight to college has increased from 63 percent in 2000 to 70 percent now, the U.S. Department of Education says. Jon Marcus, star-telegram, "More high school grads than ever are going to college, but 1 in 5 will quit," 7 July 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

22 Sep 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).


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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