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

Since the dawn of media, mostly white, cisgender, straight men have been telling their stories and depicting the world through their perspective. Marie Claire, "Deep Dives," 7 Mar. 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 And these are straight men, who didn't identify as being allies or anything else. Henry Youtt, Billboard, "5 Empowering Lyrics From Shea Diamond's 'Seen It All'," 29 June 2018 Since the silent era, with overt depictions of gay men verboten, drag was often just a comedic device straight men used to get away with something. New York Times, "Gaysploitation Upends the Stereotypes That Make Us Wince," 1 June 2018 But worse is the show’s stark juxtaposition of gay men ennobled mostly by aesthetic graces (and canned wit) and straight men zhuzhed up before being sent out to live better, fuller lives. Richard Lawson, HWD, "Why L.G.B.T.-Centered TV Is Stuck in the Past," 30 May 2018 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

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.

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First Known Use of straight man

1923, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for straight man

Last Updated

2 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for straight man

The first known use of straight man was in 1923

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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

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a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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