\ ˈstrāt How to pronounce straight (audio) \

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
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 How to pronounce straightish (audio) \ 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

Madrigal is the heart and soul of Barbary Lane whose steadying, bohemian, joint-smoking presence provides ballast to the chaotic love lives, both gay and straight, of her young tenants. Nina Metz,, "Chicago's Garcia talks inclusivity and 'Tales of the City' revival on Netflix," 13 June 2019 Binnington stopped 32 shots, and Ryan O'Reilly scored for the fourth straight game Wednesday night to lead the Blues to a 4-1 victory over Boston in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final and their first NHL championship. Jimmy Golen,, "Blues win 1st Stanley Cup, beating Bruins 4-1," 13 June 2019 But perhaps the most illuminating finding is that these veteran straight, white males aren't the Democrats's only hope to defeat Trump. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Who Can Beat Trump? Hint: It’s Not Just Other White Dudes," 12 June 2019 Walton was fired at the end of the 2018-19 regular season after leading the Lakers to a 37–45 record, missing the playoffs for the sixth-straight season. Emily Caron,, "Source: Rich Paul Offered NBA Head Coach a Lakers Assistant Job," 12 June 2019 O’Reilly became the first player to score a goal in four straight games in the Final since Wayne Gretzky in 1985. Andrew Mahoney,, "Ryan O’Reilly named Conn Smythe winner," 12 June 2019 To punctuate it, the Blues won a third straight game in Boston. Ben Shpigel, New York Times, "St. Louis Blues Claim the Stanley Cup, Ending a 52-Year Wait," 12 June 2019 Various sequels already existed in the straight-to-DVD world, as did a short-lived 2003 cable series. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Kevin Bacon shares the Tremors TV pilot—Val is washed, Graboids are hungry," 9 June 2019 Prior to Thursday’s state baseball tournament quarterfinal, Pleasure Ridge Park had won three-straight one-run games. Chris Leach, The Courier-Journal, "Pleasure Ridge Park comes up short in state baseball tournament, losing to Tates Creek," 6 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Scotland's consolation came on a giveaway by Japan's Nana Ichise, who under no pressure, saw her pass go straight to substitute Lana Clelland. Ravi Ubha, CNN, "Scotland performance against Japan at World Cup leaves Hope Solo unimpressed," 14 June 2019 That suggests Christensen's legal team is, in effect, jumping straight into the death penalty phase and will focus its evidence, cross-examinations and arguments on convincing the jury to spare Christensen's life. Michael Tarm,, "Why did Brendt Christensen admit he killed Chinese scholar Zhang at U. of I.? It might save his life.," 14 June 2019 Come next year, Doris Burke ought to be the lead analyst straight through to the last game of the N.B.A. Finals. David Remnick, The New Yorker, "In Praise of Doris Burke, Basketball’s Best TV Analyst," 13 June 2019 Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get outdoor news sent straight to your inbox. Heather Balogh Rochfort, The Know, "Mountain biking trails that’ll get you home in time for dinner," 13 June 2019 The win was the second straight for New York, which had a 17-game losing streak before Sunday’s victory over Las Vegas. Doug Feinberg, Twin Cities, "Lynx rally twice but fall to Liberty 75-69," 12 June 2019 Lavelle dribbled at Thai players, at times winding her way straight through their defense, 5, 10, 15 yards at a time. Andrew Keh, New York Times, "Raining Goals on Thailand Wasn’t an Accident. It Was the U.S. Game Plan.," 12 June 2019 Like a maximum security prison exercise yard, the only unimpeded view of the outside world is the sky straight above. Peter Hartlaub,, "A tribute to the Coliseum BART pedestrian walkway, accidental East Bay treasure," 12 June 2019 He and about 30 members of his staff worked round the clock, working 18-hour shifts and taking turns sleeping and doing different jobs for 55 hours straight. Alexandria Burris, Indianapolis Star, "With billions of dollars on the line, Indiana farmers scramble to get their crops planted," 10 June 2019

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

16 Jun 2019

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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 How to pronounce straight (audio) \
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).


behavior toward others

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