American English

Definition of straw noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[uncountable] stems of wheat or other grain plants that have been cut and dried. Straw is used for making mats, hats, etc., for packing things to protect them, and as food for animals or for them to sleep on a mattress filled with straw a straw hat compare hay
  2. 2[countable] a single stem or piece of straw He was leaning over the gate chewing on a straw.
  3. 3(also drinking straw) a thin tube of plastic or paper that you suck a drink through
  4. Idioms
    clutch/grasp at straws
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    to try all possible means to find a solution or some hope in a difficult or unpleasant situation, even though this seems very unlikely I know I'm just clutching at straws here, but is it possible that the doctors are wrong?
    draw straws (for something)
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    to decide on someone to do or have something, by choosing pieces of paper, etc. We drew straws for who went first.
    the last/final straw, the straw that breaks the camel's back
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    the last in a series of bad events, etc. that makes it impossible for you to accept a situation any longer
    you can't make bricks without straw
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    used to say that you cannot work without the necessary material, money, information, etc.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: straw