straw

1 of 2

noun

1
a
: 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
3
a(1)
: something of small worth or significance
(2)
: something too insubstantial to provide support or help in a desperate situation
clutching at straws
4
a
: something (such as a hat) made of straw
b
: a tube (as of paper, plastic, or glass) for sucking up a beverage
5
strawy adjective

straw

2 of 2

adjective

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
Phrases
straw in the wind
: a slight fact that is an indication of a coming event

Examples of straw in a Sentence

Noun He was chewing on a straw. He asked for a straw for his iced tea. She drank the juice through a straw. Adjective the cheese maker told us that the best Parmesan cheeses are straw, not white, in color
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Boba straws are wider and thicker than normal drinking straws. David Fischer, Quartz, 11 Apr. 2024 Inspectors found that Hialeah businessman Mario Ferro used straw donors to illegally donate to Martinez’s 2016 campaign. Charles Rabin, Miami Herald, 11 Apr. 2024 Owners of Stanley cups took to TikTok to share their shock over the discovery of mold inside the cups, straws, and compartment lids of their Quenchers after neglecting regular washes. Alyssa Brascia, Peoplemag, 11 Apr. 2024 The Biden administration and Congress agreed in 2022 to increase penalties for straw purchases and firearms trafficking. Amanda Coletta, Washington Post, 5 Apr. 2024 Related Articles Miss Manners: The birthday joke was the last straw. Judith Martin, The Mercury News, 2 Apr. 2024 The bill would prevent cities from regulating the sale of plastic containers such as straws, bags and other single-use plastic containers. Jenna Barackman, Kansas City Star, 27 Mar. 2024 There is another story that my family has passed down about what happened after Lorenza was killed: Her sons drew straws to see who would go back to Sicily to avenge her death. Jo Piazza, Peoplemag, 31 Mar. 2024 Much of the time, though, run-of-the-mill defenders of animal welfare have ended up with the short straw. Christian Schneider, National Review, 28 Mar. 2024
Adjective
Inside the container is straw, alfalfa, water and vegetables, and electronic equipment will monitor the temperature and allow technicians to even talk to the animal. Alicia Fernández, Fortune, 22 Jan. 2024 Inside the building’s stucco walls are straw bales, a material championed for its sustainability by Harrison and the artistic community who built the house. Lucky Benson, New York Times, 14 Dec. 2023 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, 24 Apr. 2018 Straw bags with pom-pom accents are sure to please. NOLA.com, 8 July 2017 Straw blinds go up to the ceiling, concealing the fact that the windows are much shorter. Lisa Cregan, House Beautiful, 19 Jan. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'straw.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near straw

Cite this Entry

“Straw.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/straw. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

straw

1 of 2 noun
1
a
: stalks of grain after threshing
also : any dry stalky plant part used like grain straw (as for bedding or in packing)
pine straw
b
: a natural or artificial fiber used for weaving or braiding
2
: a dry coarse stem especially of a cereal grass
3
a
: something of small worth or importance
not worth a straw
b
: something too weak to provide help in a desperate situation
clutch at any straw in a crisis
4
: a tube usually of plastic for sucking up a beverage
strawy adjective

straw

2 of 2 adjective
1
: made of straw
a straw hat
2
: of the pale yellow color of straw

More from Merriam-Webster on straw

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