\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

Hopefully Gomez didn't relapse and smash up another cooler out of anger after Jose Bautista hit his first career walk-off home run to hand the Rays their second straight loss. Khadrice Rollins,, "Watch: Carlos Gomez Apologizes to Water Coolers Everywhere After Destroying Two July Fourth," 6 July 2018 South Korea needs a goal to avoid a devastating second straight loss in the group stage. Andrew Keh, New York Times, "Love Story: Mexico Wins Again and Its Fans Roar for the Coach," 24 June 2018 The frustration has been in being unable to get out of the round of 16, with six straight losses at that juncture. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Why Mexico is the World Cup's biggest loser despite sterling start in Russia," 21 June 2018 But the result was a second straight loss for the Marlins, who continued on to Denver for the final leg of their three-city road trip. Clark Spencer, miamiherald, "Marlins and Giants play nice. But it's Giants who come out smiling.," 20 June 2018 Baltimore also ended a string of 11 straight losses at home, which tied a club record. Todd Karpovich,, "Trevor Richards gives up nine hits, six runs in 3 1/3 as Marlins fall to Orioles," 17 June 2018 Lions can still get back on track Orlando City, despite six straight losses, is still above the playoff line. Jordan Culver, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando City’s attack just isn’t the same during six-match losing streak," 14 June 2018 They were outscored 20-9 over two games by the Razorbacks, a result that came on the heels of three straight blowout losses to Stanford at home. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "Texas began its Super Regional run after early-season loss to Arkansas," 4 June 2018 World Team Tennis brings Spears back to her former home for the second straight year. Glae Thien,, "Abigail Spears’ net worth is still on upswing in tennis," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Once the ceremony concluded, the evening transitioned straight into a festive cocktail hour. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, "Inside a Greenery-Filled Hawaiian Wedding—Where the Bridesmaids Wore Power Suits," 13 July 2018 In the Boys 9-10, Florida’s Phillip Dunham shot a second straight 5-under 67 at Carlton Oaks and won by six shots at 12 under. Tod Leonard,, "Thai teem overcomes San Diegan in Junior World duel," 12 July 2018 In the dead center of it was a jagged hole, punched straight through. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "A transgender girl rises up against alien invaders in Rich Larson’s novel Annex," 8 July 2018 Isn’t that a way to get defenses to play straight up eventually and improve your odds? Scott Lauber,, "Should the Phillies be concerned about Jake Arrieta? | Extra Innings," 27 June 2018 Their mission requires them to fly straight and level, and to live the same way. William Langewiesche, The Atlantic, "An Extraordinarily Expensive Way to Fight ISIS," 21 June 2018 Almost none of the water is clean, raw sewage is pumped straight into the sea and worsening power shortages mean Gazans have electricity for only around four hours a day on average. NBC News, "Why Palestinians risk their lives to protest near Gaza-Israel fence," 21 June 2018 Boyle likens someone of Boylan’s experience working for the Pacers on FOX Sports Indiana at 24 to basketball players joining the NBA straight out of high school. Jordan Guskey, Indianapolis Star, "Local broadcaster Pat Boylan is a rising star," 15 June 2018 The vehicle had been traveling at a high speed, and at some point had spun out of control and headed straight for a rock wall. Scott Berson, charlotteobserver, "Couple was driving home from a relative's funeral. They didn't make it.," 12 June 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

3 Nov 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 express warning or disapproval

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