\ ˈstrȯ How to pronounce straw (audio) \

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 How to pronounce strawy (audio) \ 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

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil is said to have berated Gunners manager Unai Emery over the club's Europa League final defeat at the hands of Chelsea last week, getting transfer listed after the altercation was seen as the 'final straw'., "Mesut Ozil Tipped to Leave Arsenal Amid Claims He Told Unai Emery 'You're Not a Coach'," 4 June 2019 In lieu of sipping your gin and tonic with plastic straws, use these Stainless Steel Straws endorsed by Mother Nature herself instead. Popular Mechanics, "Ditch Plastic And Sip Your Drinks With These Planet-Friendly Metal Straws," 18 Apr. 2019 While the plastics backlash has focused on single-use products like straws, bottles and coffee cups, synthetic clothing is gaining attention because such garments shed plastic every time they are washed. Saabira Chaudhuri, WSJ, "The Tiny Plastics in Your Clothes Are Becoming a Big Problem," 7 Mar. 2019 Bressand spent three months with artisans in Ghana learning how to create sculptural baskets using a naturally golden straw from the savannah called elephant grass. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Inès Bressand Is Crafting the Basket Bags You’ll Be Coveting This Spring," 23 Jan. 2019 Maybe drinking an avocado frappuccino is the equivalent of telling those naysayers to go suck it (ideally out of a large Starbucks straw)? Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Just Say No to the Starbucks Avocado Frappuccino," 5 July 2018 During a search of the car, police found a red pill box keychain with methamphetimine and a straw. John Benson,, "Man with warrant arrested for drug abuse: Brecksville Police Blotter," 10 May 2018 But the March figure was still higher than users in the fourth quarter of 2017, Spiegel said, clutching at a straw. Michael Hiltzik,, "Snap Inc. again shows why it should not have become a public company," 2 May 2018 Add a straw and garnish with a blackberry and lemon wedge. Bailey Loosemore, The Courier-Journal, "You've tried a mint julep. But what about our second favorite drink, the Oaks Lily?," 6 Apr. 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

14 Jun 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 How to pronounce straw (audio) \

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).


behavior toward others

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