straight man


Definition of straight man 

: a member of a comedy team who feeds lines to a partner who in turn replies with usually humorous quips

Examples of straight man in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

And the standard episodes featuring straight men start to feel a bit repetitive. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "Too much, too soon? 'Queer Eye' and reality shows that return too quickly," 15 June 2018 During the closing credits, none other than John Calipari serves as straight man for a Duke/Kentucky joke, with former Blue Devil Irving getting to deliver the punchline. Mark Feeney,, "In ‘Uncle Drew,’ Kyrie dribbles, Kyrie shoots, Kyrie acts," 27 June 2018 That just reminds me to have the confidence of a white straight man. John Ortved, New York Times, "See the Art That Tavi Gevinson Collects," 3 Jan. 2018 Hug, who won his fourth straight men’s wheelchair race, immediately went into the medical tent after crossing the finish line: Completing the #BostonMarathon in today?s weather seems absolutely miserable. Hayden Bird,, "What Desiree Linden and the rest of the Boston Marathon winners had to say about the weather," 16 Apr. 2018 And the show does a nice job of contrasting the relentless enthusiasm of Miklos with the senior researcher on his vessel, Mike Perna, who plays a perfect straight man to the cowboy bravado of the show’s star. Kathryn Miles, Outside Online, "'Cooper's Treasure' and the Gray Area of Wreck Hunting," 21 June 2018 Stephan Was he a gay straight man or a straight gay man? Kelly Conaboy, The Cut, "Sex and the City," 6 June 2018 The fourth wall–breaking, mile-a-minute-talking Deadpool was the most irreverent of Liefeld’s creations, while Cable played the role of a weary straight man. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Dour Resurgence of Cable, Deadpool 2’s Anti-Hero," 23 May 2018 Steve Coogan, as a flamboyant TV star, and Paul Rudd, as the straight man (so to speak), have great fun playing a bickering couple in the movie, which has a little pathos — and a lot of camp. 6:30 p.m. June 23, Castro. David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle, "Frameline offers movie feast during Pride Week," 14 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of straight man

1923, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about straight man

Share straight man

Statistics for straight man

Last Updated

3 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for straight man

The first known use of straight man was in 1923

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for straight man

straight man


English Language Learners Definition of straight man

: a member of a comedy team who says things that allow a partner to make jokes

More from Merriam-Webster on straight man

See words that rhyme with straight man

Comments on straight man

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


to make amends

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!