\ ˈstrēk How to pronounce streak (audio) \

Definition of streak

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a line or mark of a different color or texture from the ground : stripe
2a : the color of the fine powder of a mineral obtained by scratching or rubbing against a hard white surface and constituting an important distinguishing character
b : inoculum implanted in a line on a solid medium
c : any of numerous virus diseases of plants (such as tobacco and corn) resembling mosaic but usually producing at least some linear markings
3a : a narrow band of light
b : a lightning bolt
4a : a slight admixture : trace had a mean streak in him
b : a brief run (as of luck)
c : a consecutive series was on a winning streak
5 : a narrow layer (as of fat)
6 : an act or instance of streaking


streaked; streaking; streaks

Definition of streak (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to make streaks on or in tears streaking her face

intransitive verb

1 : to move swiftly : rush a jet streaking across the sky
2 : to have a streak (as of winning or outstanding performances)
3 : to run naked through a public place

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Other Words from streak


streaker noun

Synonyms for streak

Synonyms: Noun

band, bar, stripe

Synonyms: Verb

band, bar, stripe

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Examples of streak in a Sentence


He left streaks where he wiped the glass. The miners had streaks of coal dust on their faces. a streak of 11 straight victories


A shooting star streaked across the sky. A skateboarder streaked past us.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Villar scored three times and had a pair of hits to extend his hitting streak to nine games and raise his average to .262. Jon Meoli,, "Dominant Andrew Cashner carries Orioles to third straight win, 8-1 over Blue Jays," 6 July 2019 But, then again, these are the Knicks, who have not won a championship since 1973 or a conference title in two decades and who are now better known as a hapless organization with a long streak of bad choices and bad luck. David Waldstein, New York Times, "Why Stars Won’t Come to the Knicks," 5 July 2019 As played by Crowe, Ailes is a charismatic but abrasive personality with a streak of wild paranoia and a penchant for inflammatory remarks. Meredith Blake,, "‘The Loudest Voice’ turns the spotlight on Roger Ailes — the man who made President Trump possible," 26 June 2019 When the high school class takes a field trip to Petra, tensions emerge, largely driven by Tareq (Abd Alrazzaq Jarkas), your typical high school bully with a broad misogynistic streak for good measure. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Review: Teenagers must ward off mischievous supernatural beings in Jinn," 23 June 2019 The rift has become a proxy for the deepening divide between the state's ultraliberal urban enclaves and its sprawling rural counties with proud libertarian streaks. Anchorage Daily News, "Threats from militia provoke shutdown at Oregon capitol, a day after GOP lawmakers fled," 23 June 2019 WASHINGTON—Technology companies are set to come into the crosshairs of a House panel led by Rep. David Cicilline, a Rhode Island Democrat with an independent streak. Kristina Peterson, WSJ, "Atop the House’s Tech Antitrust Probe, a Democrat With an Independent Manner," 10 June 2019 That pushed Hightower back to inside linebacker, which coincided with a six-game winning streak after New England had won once in its first three games of 2018. Mark Inabinett |,, "Why Bill Belichick called Dont’a Hightower ‘Mr. February’," 9 June 2019 Leonard enters these playoffs with a 32-game streak of double-digit postseason outings, averaging 24.1 points in those contests. Tim Reynolds, The Seattle Times, "Playoff time: 10 things to know for the NBA postseason," 12 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Trump declared, speaking behind a pane of bulletproof glass that was streaked with rain. Jess Bidgood,, "Tanks and planes assemble for Fourth of July ‘Salute to America’," 4 July 2019 On one play Sunday, Abby Dahlkemper arced a pass from beyond midfield on the right side to Rapinoe streaking along the left. Rachel Bachman, WSJ, "Rock Star U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Makes World Cup," 15 Oct. 2018 Traditional ballistic missiles carry their nuclear warhead payloads into space, which then streak back down through the atmosphere onto their targets. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Putin’s New Missiles Are Having Decidedly Mixed Success," 25 Mar. 2019 The first glacier that came into view was the Tokositna, a dramatic ribbon of ice feathered with crevasses and streaked with dark silt. Anchorage Daily News, "Taking the plunge: Glacier skiing and climbing in the shadow of the Moose’s Tooth," 10 June 2019 Just back from a family getaway to Puerto Rico, Cranford’s shoulder-length strands are textured and streaked from surf and sun. Celia Ellenberg, Vogue, "This New Downtown Salon Specializes In Model Off-Duty Waves and “Vacation Hair”," 7 Sep. 2018 Tall, bare peaks surrounded by healthier forests, all dotted and streaked with silvery-blue waters. Debbi Snook,, "Canadian Rockies a towering visual treat by foot -- or bus (photos, video)," 18 Mar. 2018 Nonetheless, a crowd of 131,256 reveled in the sun-streaked afternoon, as one band after another took the infield concert stage. Liz Clarke, The Seattle Times, "At the center of Kentucky Derby controversy, War of Will is vindicated with victory in Preakness Stakes," 18 May 2019 In his police mugshot, Rich’s face is streaked with blood. Matthew Ormseth,, "Arraignment Postponed For Granby Man Charged With Attempted Murder Of Parents," 14 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'streak.' 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 streak


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


1576, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for streak


Middle English streke, from Old English strica; akin to Old High German strich line, Latin striga row — more at strike

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Statistics for streak

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for streak

The first known use of streak was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for streak



English Language Learners Definition of streak

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a long, thin mark that is a different color from its background
: a quality that is noticeable especially because it is different from a person's other qualities
: a period of repeated success or failure



English Language Learners Definition of streak (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make long lines of a different color on or in (something)
: to go or move very quickly
: to run through a public place naked in order to get attention


\ ˈstrēk How to pronounce streak (audio) \

Kids Definition of streak

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a line or mark of a different color or texture from its background You left a streak of mud on the rug.
2 : a narrow band of light a streak of lightning
3 : an amount of a quality She's got a stubborn streak.
4 : a short series of something a winning streak

Other Words from streak

streaked \ ˈstrēkt , ˈstrē-​kəd \ adjective


streaked; streaking

Kids Definition of streak (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to make or have a line or mark of color in or on His hair is streaked with gray.
2 : to move swiftly : rush A jet streaked across the sky.


\ ˈstrēk How to pronounce streak (audio) \

Medical Definition of streak

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a usually irregular line or stripe — see primitive streak
2 : inoculum implanted (as with a needle drawn across the surface) in a line on a solid medium

Medical Definition of streak (Entry 2 of 2)

: to implant (inoculum) in a line on a solid medium

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More from Merriam-Webster on streak

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with streak

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for streak

Spanish Central: Translation of streak

Nglish: Translation of streak for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of streak for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about streak

Comments on streak

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


to form ideas or theories about something

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