straw man

noun
|Updated on: 23 Jun 2018

Definition of straw man

1 : a weak or imaginary opposition (such as an argument or adversary) set up only to be easily confuted
2 : a person set up to serve as a cover for a usually questionable transaction

Recent Examples of straw man from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'straw man.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of straw man

1886

in the meaning defined at sense 1

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

STRAW MAN Defined for English Language Learners

straw man

Definition of straw man for English Language Learners

  • : a weak or imaginary argument or opponent that is set up to be easily defeated


Law Dictionary

straw man

noun

legal Definition of straw man

: an intermediary for a transaction (as a conveyance of real property)

Learn More about straw man


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to beat or defeat soundly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Test Your Emoji Exceptionalism

  • test-your-emoji-exceptionalism-written-with-a-lot-of-emoji
  • What is this emoji intended to represent: 🤳
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!