\ 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

The band’s frontman, Stephan Jenkins, is a passionate surfer and activist, having pressed the band to eliminate plastic bottles and straws from their tours. John Adamian,, "Third Eye Blind co-headlining mini fest at Oakdale," 28 June 2019 Coupa Cafe has been making sustainable changes since 2013, well before restrictions on straws and plastic foodware began. Melissa Chen, The Mercury News, "Palo Alto tells restaurants to toss disposable foodware; restrictions on straws, cups and utensils may spread to other Bay Area cities," 23 June 2019 Even though the sunscreen ban doesn’t take effect until 2021, Key West visitors should stock up on oxybenzone and octinoxate-free SPF before heading to Florida, in addition to metal straws and reusable bags. Ali Wunderman, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Plan an Eco-Friendly Trip to Key West," 17 June 2019 Fragments of plastic like those commonly used for bags and straws were the second most common plastic found. National Geographic, "You eat thousands of bits of plastic every year," 5 June 2019 Stir these ingredients briefly and then add a metal straw and pack the glass full of pebble ice. Andrew Daniels, Popular Mechanics, "This Mad Science Experiment Is the Key to the Perfect Mint Julep," 3 May 2019 Old, usually brown and dry plant materials, such as autumn leaves, straw and sawdust, are rich in carbon. Lee Reich, The Seattle Times, "Fall is the perfect time to build a compost bin," 16 Oct. 2018 Seattle urged businesses to use up their existing inventory of plastic utensils and straws before Sunday. Anchorage Daily News, "Seattle bans plastic straws, utensils at restaurants, bars," 3 July 2018 Wayback Burgers' 133 stores are adding a combined 3,400 gallons of ice cream, 300 gallons of chocolate syrup, 300 gallons of Monin French vanilla syrup and 30,000 cups, lids and straws to their usual stock this year, according to a media release. Benjy Egel, sacbee, "This fast-food chain is giving out free milkshakes to celebrate summer solstice on Thursday," 20 June 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

12 Jul 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).


food or victuals

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