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

Are younger cisgender, straight men thinking about gender differently than their fathers? Thomas Page Mcbee, Teen Vogue, "Tony Revolori on Masculinity, Bullying, and "My Little Pony"," 30 May 2019 Chick is a wacky little narcissist ping-ponging around the page; Fox is the fond, amused straight man. New York Times, "Brief Tales for New Readers and Little Listeners From Philip Stead and More," 29 June 2018 Melanie provides the straight man to Ethan’s comedy. Chicago Tribune,, "Algren Award finalist: "Nothing Less Than 20,000 Watts" by Susan Finch," 2 June 2018 His best guests are clued in to this dynamic and play straight men. Jason Zinoman, New York Times, "The Sociopathic Comedy of Brett Davis," 10 Apr. 2018 The late-night comic had found his perfect straight man. Kyle Swenson,, "Stephen Hawking's secret to surviving his terrible condition? A sense of humor.," 14 Mar. 2018 Marty Allen, a fuzzy-haired funnyman who formed part of a popular comedy duo in the 1960s with singer and comic straight man Steve Rossi, appearing on countless television talk shows and variety shows, died Feb. 12 in Las Vegas. Matt Schudel, Washington Post, "Marty Allen, fuzzy-haired member of popular 1960s comedy duo Allen & Rossi, dies at 95," 13 Feb. 2018 After meeting in 1945, the two quickly became the most sought-after duo in show business, with Lewis bringing the zany laughter and singer Martin playing the straight man. Editors, USA TODAY, "2017: Remembering those we've lost through the year," 12 Dec. 2017

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

Statistics for straight man

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

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

Rhyming Dictionary: 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 form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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!