straw

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj straw of a pale yellow color like straw; straw-colored
    • v straw spread by scattering ("straw" is archaic) "strew toys all over the carpet"
    • v straw cover or provide with or as if with straw "cows were strawed to weather the snowstorm"
    • n straw a thin paper or plastic tube used to suck liquids into the mouth
    • n straw a variable yellow tint; dull yellow, often diluted with white
    • n straw material consisting of seed coverings and small pieces of stem or leaves that have been separated from the seeds
    • n straw plant fiber used e.g. for making baskets and hats or as fodder
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Dustin Phillips of the U.S. has the record for ketchup drinking. He drank a 14-ounce bottle of tomato ketchup through a ? inch straw in 33 seconds on September 23, 1999
    • Straw A stalk or stem of certain species of grain, pulse, etc., especially of wheat, rye, oats, barley, more rarely of buckwheat, beans, and pease.
    • Straw Anything proverbially worthless; the least possible thing; a mere trifle. "I set not a straw by thy dreamings."
    • Straw The gathered and thrashed stalks of certain species of grain, etc.; as, a bundle, or a load, of rye straw .
    • v. t Straw To spread or scatter. See Strew, and Strow.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The first baseball caps were made of straw.
    • n straw The stalk or stem of certain species of grain, pulse, etc., chiefly of wheat, rye, oats, barley, buckwheat, and pease, cut or broken off (and usually dry); also, a piece of such a stem.
    • n straw Such stalks collectively, especially after drying and threshing: as, a load of straw. In this sense a collective without plural.
    • n straw Figuratively, anything proverbially worthless; the least possible thing.
    • n straw A slight fact, taken as an instance in proof of a tendency.
    • n straw A clay pipe, especially a long one.
    • n straw Same as straw-needle.
    • n straw In entomology, a stick-insect; a walking-stick.
    • straw Made or composed of straw: as, a straw hat.
    • straw Sham; fictitious; useless: as, a straw bid. Compare straw bail, under bail, 5.
    • straw To furnish or bind with straw; apply straw to.
    • straw An obsolete or dialectal form of strew.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Straw straw the stalk on which corn grows, and from which it is thrashed: a quantity of these when thrashed: anything worthless, the least possible thing
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Quotations

  • Alexander Pope
    Alexander%20Pope
    “Behold the child, by nature's kindly law, pleased with a rattle, tickled with a straw.”
  • O. Henry
    O. Henry
    “A straw vote only shows which way the hot air blows.”

Idioms

Clutch at straws - If someone is in serious trouble and tries anything to help them, even though their chances of success are probably nil, they are clutching at straws.
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Draw the shortest straw - If someone draws the shortest straw, they lose or are chosen to do something unpleasant.
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Last straw - The last straw is the final problem that makes someone lose their temper or the problem that finally brought about the collapse of something. It comes from an Arabic story, where a camel was loaded with straw until a single straw placed on the rest of the load broke its back.
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Man of straw - A weak person that can easily be beaten of changed is a man of straw.
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Straw man - A straw man is a weak argument that is easily defeated. It can also be a person who is used as to give an illegal or inappropriate activity an appearance of respectability.
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Straw poll - A straw poll is a small unofficial survey or ballot to find out what people think about an issue.
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Straw that broke the camel's back - The straw that broke the camel's back is the problem that made you lose your temper or the problem that finally brought about the collapse of something.
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Take a straw poll - If you take a straw poll, you sound a number of people out to see their opinions on an issue or topic.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. straw, stre, stree, AS. streáw, from the root of E. strew,; akin to OFries. strē, D. stroo, G. stroh, OHG. strō, Icel. strā, Dan. straa, Sw. strå,. √166. See Strew
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. streaw; Ger. stroh, from the root of strew.

Usage

In literature:

The straw would crackle as the sleepers turned.
"Young Hilda at the Wars" by Arthur Gleason
Straw hats are worn in place of Derbies and felts.
"The Complete Bachelor" by Walter Germain
When my senses returned, I found myself lying on straw, along with a great number of other men, in a vast shed.
"The Brass Bell" by Eugène Sue
Hay or straw, tall weeds, corn and cane stalks have been used to good advantage.
"Manual of Military Training" by James A. Moss
The monkeys tore off his straw hat with its fancy ribbon and tore it to bits and flung them in the faces of the crowd.
"The Ocean Wireless Boys And The Naval Code" by John Henry Goldfrap, AKA Captain Wilbur Lawton
The redoubtable Rafferty was standing in the yard chewing a straw and watching Larry at work.
"The Ghost Girl" by H. De Vere Stacpoole
In summer she always wore the same straw hat, and I verily believe the very same grey-blue dress.
"What the Moon Saw: and Other Tales" by Hans Christian Andersen
There's a straw going by now; how he turns and twists about!
"Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen" by Hans Christian Andersen
Also the imported straw used for purposes of litter must not be forgotten.
"Manures and the principles of manuring" by Charles Morton Aikman
Long projecting points gathered the straw.
"Agricultural Implements and Machines in the Collection of the National Museum of History and Technology" by John T. Schlebecker
The shadow of her big straw hat fell across her eyes; she faced him intently.
"A Young Man in a Hurry" by Robert W. Chambers
That was the last straw.
"Madame Bovary" by Gustave Flaubert
Perrine found the donkey with his nose buried in the straw, which he was eating calmly.
"Nobody's Girl" by Hector Malot
For long, straws had indicated the trend of the wind, and he was not blind.
"The Dominant Dollar" by Will Lillibridge
Those that can't find straw to lie on can sit on a budget.
"One Snowy Night" by Emily Sarah Holt
Now he is drenched with rain, and can get no shelter; and, when he does, he will find straw an inconvenient substitute for a bed.
"A Tramp's Wallet stored by an English goldsmith during his wanderings in Germany and France" by William Duthie
The pledges are not worth a straw.
"Ireland as It Is" by Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
Straws, informed on all matters, was able to satisfy his questioners.
"The Strollers" by Frederic S. Isham
The straw ticking of the mattress had been slit open and some of the straw was scattered on the floor.
"A Yankee Flier Over Berlin" by Al Avery
A jumbled heap lies in the straw covered with a blanket to keep off the flies.
"The Note-Book of an Attache" by Eric Fisher Wood
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In poetry:

They had no candle burning,
The fire was long since dead,
A wretched heap of straw was all
They had to call a bed.
"Who Cares?" by John Hartley
Ye gave me shelter from the storm
And straw to make my bed,
And let me sleep through the wild night
With cattle in the shed.
"An Angel Unawares" by Cicely Fox Smith
And when the morning's sun looked in,
And filled the place with light,
Two lifeless bodies on the straw
Was all that met the sight.
"Who Cares?" by John Hartley
Straw in the street where I pass to-day
Dulls the sound of the wheels and feet.
'Tis for a failing life they lay
Straw in the street.
"Straw in the Street" by Amy Levy
The hurrying people go their way,
Pause and jostle and pass and greet;
For life, for death, are they treading, say
Straw in the street?
"Straw in the Street" by Amy Levy
As early one autumnal eve,
Catau was eager to receive
Her father to his feast;
She look'd without her door, and saw
Aloft a little blaze of straw,
That in the wind encreas'd.
"The Stork" by William Hayley

In news:

Colorful straws, cut in half (optional).
In one stall a horse born five days earlier sleeps on a fluffy bed of straw beside his mother.
The Ames Straw Poll lives on.
Romney Wins Iowa Straw Poll by a Sizable Margin.
Mitt Romney greeting supporters Saturday after winning the Iowa Straw Poll.
This week, I drew the short straw.
He as born Aug 7, 1971, at Kelso, Wash. To Raymond Darrie Slinker and Donna Jeannette Straw.
More than 1,000 straw bales went up in flames.
Sofia blanc de blancs, made by Niebaum-Coppola Winery, will be packaged in individual-serving cans, with their own straws, and sold in four-packs.
File this political attack under grasping at straws using a straw man.
Lilly the kitchen ' straw boss '.
' Straw hat bandit' sought in Horsham bank robbery.
A tip of the (straw) hat.
Generally, straight plays are popular on the straw-hat circuit because they are cheaper and easier to put on.
Straw, canning and powder coating .
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In science:

In general, all straws were still operational after irradiation with no performance loss.
The GlueX Central Drift Chamber: Design and Performance
Pictures of a pristine straw taken with an optical microscope are shown in Fig. 7.
The GlueX Central Drift Chamber: Design and Performance
In Fig. 8, at a factor of 20 higher resolution, one can see that the irradiated straw shows black pits and that the dark gray areas indicated in Fig. 6 are in fact a different size and concentration of those black pits (as can be seen in the center of Fig. 8).
The GlueX Central Drift Chamber: Design and Performance
The relative amount of atoms can be determined by doing an analysis of X-rays coming from the straw when under the electron microscope, three lines with different intensity are always observed: aluminum, oxygen, and carbon.
The GlueX Central Drift Chamber: Design and Performance
Those uniformly generated random points are connected with a straight line and it is determined which straws are intersected by a track.
The GlueX Central Drift Chamber: Design and Performance
FIG. 15: View of the cross section of the close packed straw arrangement of the small scale prototype.
The GlueX Central Drift Chamber: Design and Performance
Tracks were reconstructed to count the number of cosmic rays that passed through a given straw.
The GlueX Central Drift Chamber: Design and Performance
These tra jectories are then used to search other straws with hit-radii within a 4 mm window of these track candidates.
The GlueX Central Drift Chamber: Design and Performance
The upper limit for the drift time corresponds to the drift distance between the straw wall and the wire.
The GlueX Central Drift Chamber: Design and Performance
The position resolution is calculated for wire 7 for different gas mixtures as a function of the straw radius.
The GlueX Central Drift Chamber: Design and Performance
The efficiency of straw 7 as a function of drift distance is shown in Fig. 23.
The GlueX Central Drift Chamber: Design and Performance
FIG. 23: Efficiency of straw 7 as a function of drift distance for several gas mixtures.
The GlueX Central Drift Chamber: Design and Performance
FIG. 24: Reconstructed angle of the tilted chamber as a function of straw number.
The GlueX Central Drift Chamber: Design and Performance
In such a configuration the average path length of cosmic rays inside the straw becomes longer and the average energy deposition larger.
The GlueX Central Drift Chamber: Design and Performance
The dE /dx or energy (E ) loss per unit of length (x) distribution in one straw is calculated.
The GlueX Central Drift Chamber: Design and Performance
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