\ 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

In California, restaurant patrons who want to drink through a plastic straw will have to ask for one. Jacob Gershman, WSJ, "New for 2019: Laws on Guns, Harassment, Cannabis-Spiked Drinks," 2 Jan. 2019 The waiters scurry back in with the first course of the ‘vegetable season’ menu: a broth made of potato and elderflower served in a terra-cotta pot, which has to be sucked through a straw. Mary Holland, Condé Nast Traveler, "What It's Like to Eat at Noma, One of the World’s Most Famous Restaurants," 21 Dec. 2018 Unlike switching to a metal straw, drawing lines in the sand for always-on listening devices does make a difference. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Why we can’t stop debating whether Facebook sells data," 14 Dec. 2018 Avoid messy foam drips by finding a spray foam that comes with a straw, like GREAT STUFF Insulating Foam Sealant. The Good Housekeeping Institute, Good Housekeeping, "How to Draft-Proof Your Home for a Lower Heating Bill," 20 Nov. 2018 Her 8-year-old sister said the girl was forced to drink dog urine through a straw, police wrote. Mark Scolforo, Fox News, "Baby sitters accused of beatings, severe abuse over 6 days," 2 Aug. 2018 People who have a medical need to use a straw are exempt. Cleve R. Wootson Jr.,, "Seattle becomes first major U.S. city to ban straws," 2 July 2018 But Buford and Popovich still have a couple of draft picks, an elite trading chip in the prime of his career, and a soda straw. Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, "As Kawhi drama lingers, Spurs face a leverage problem," 21 June 2018 Whenever your hair is feeling dry or straw-like, apply the oil to damp strands from mid-shaft to the ends. Redbook, "How to Look Like You Just Left the Salon," 27 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

11 Jan 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).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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