\ ˈstrȯ \

Definition of straw

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : stalks of grain after threshing broadly : dry stalky plant residue used like grain straw (as for bedding or packing)
b : a natural or artificial heavy fiber used for weaving, plaiting, or braiding
2 : a dry coarse stem especially of a cereal grass
3a(1) : something of small worth or significance
(2) : something too insubstantial to provide support or help in a desperate situation clutching at straws
4a : something (such as a hat) made of straw
b : a tube (as of paper, plastic, or glass) for sucking up a beverage
straw in the wind
: a slight fact that is an indication of a coming event



Definition of straw (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : made of straw a straw hat
2 : of, relating to, or used for straw a straw barn
3 : of the color of straw : pale yellow in color straw hair
4 : of little or no value : worthless
5 : of, relating to, resembling, or being a straw man
6 : of, relating to, or concerned with the discovery of preferences by means of a straw vote

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Other Words from straw


strawy \ ˈstrȯ-​ē \ adjective

Synonyms for straw

Synonyms: Adjective

blond (or blonde), fair, flaxen, golden, sandy, tawny

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Examples of straw in a Sentence


He was chewing on a straw. He asked for a straw for his iced tea. She drank the juice through a straw.


the cheese maker told us that the best Parmesan cheeses are straw, not white, in color
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The final straw was GoDaddy, which gave Gab 24 hours to find a new domain provider. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Gab forced offline over apparent tie to Pittsburgh synagogue shooter," 29 Oct. 2018 The final straw came this week, after Ms. Kelly questioned on Tuesday’s edition of her show why putting on blackface as part of a Halloween costume was necessarily racist. Joe Flint, WSJ, "After Months of Struggle, NBC’s $69 Million Bet on Megyn Kelly Flames Out," 26 Oct. 2018 The final straw is Skye getting mugged and beaten in one of the (poorly lit) streets near the rec center. Emma Dibdin, Country Living, "'This Is Us' Recap: Jack and an Adult Kate Appeared Together for the First Time and It Was Emotional," 10 Oct. 2018 According to Davidson, the final straw came when a shelter worker told him to stop three distraught Brazilian siblings from consoling each other. Anne Branigin, The Root, "Ex-Shelter Worker Says New Staffers Received Just 1 Week of Training to Work With Traumatized Migrant Children," 18 June 2018 The final straw came when Rodman arrived to work just 30 minutes before an 8 p.m. start for Game 5 of the 1995 Western Conference Finals. Tom Orsborn, San Antonio Express-News, "Leonard soap opera not unheard of; Spurs’ 45 seasons include plenty of drama," 15 June 2018 The final straw, Quinn said, was when Hampton went to work on Marie Newman’s congressional campaign last year even though Madigan backed U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski. Stacy St. Clair,, "Madigan aide ousted in sexual harassment texting scandal responds to woman who made the accusations," 14 June 2018 The embarrassing failure of Obamacare repeal legislation in the Senate proved the final straw, and Trump suddenly announced via tweet the following afternoon that Priebus was out — and Kelly was in. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "John Kelly is out as White House chief of staff, Trump announces," 8 Dec. 2018 Rugs are generally straw, seagrass, or jute, and fabrics are simple and devoid of shine. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know About Coastal Design," 2 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The nation's largest auto finance company has dropped its lawsuit against auto dealer Russ Darrow over loans to what turned out to be straw buyers of luxury vehicles destined for China via a con man's business. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Finance firm drops suit against Russ Darrow dealership over straw buyers for fugitive con man," 24 Apr. 2018 Straw bags with pom-pom accents are sure to please., "4 cool new shops and galleries to discover around New Orleans," 8 July 2017 Straw blinds go up to the ceiling, concealing the fact that the windows are much shorter. Lisa Cregan, House Beautiful, "An Empty "White Cube" Apartment Gets Its Masterpiece Theatre Moment," 19 Jan. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'straw.' 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 straw


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for straw


Middle English, from Old English strēaw; akin to Old High German strō straw, Old English strewian to strew

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Statistics for straw

Last Updated

22 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for straw

The first known use of straw was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for straw



English Language Learners Definition of straw

: the dry stems of wheat and other grain plants
: a single dry stem of a grain plant
: a thin tube used for sucking up a drink


\ ˈstrȯ \

Kids Definition of straw

1 : dry plant stems (as of grain after threshing) a mat of straw
2 : a slender tube for sucking up a beverage

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More from Merriam-Webster on straw

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with straw

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for straw

Spanish Central: Translation of straw

Nglish: Translation of straw for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of straw for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about straw

Comments on straw

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


a servile follower or underling

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