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

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 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

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

12 Nov 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).


obstinately defiant of authority

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!