Definition of street noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//striːt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//striːt//
    Features of roads, House location, Types of road
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  1. 1  [countable] (abbreviation St, st) a public road in a city or town that has houses and buildings on one side or both sides The bank is just across the street. to walk along/down/up the street the town’s narrow cobbled streets 92nd Street 10 Downing Street He is used to being recognized in the street. a street map/plan of York street theatre/musicians My office is at street level (= on the ground floor). It's not safe to walk the streets at night. It was time to take the political struggle onto the streets (= by protesting in large groups in the streets of a city). More AboutroadsRoads and streets In a town or city, street is the most general word for a road with houses and buildings on one or both sides:a street map of London. Street is not used for roads between towns, but streets in towns are often called Road:Oxford Street Mile End Road. A road map of a country shows you the major routes between, around and through towns and cities. Other words used in the names of streets include: Circle, Court, Crescent, Drive, Hill and Way. Avenue suggests a wide street lined with trees. A lane is a narrow street between buildings or, in British English, a narrow country road.The high street High street is used in British English, especially as a name, for the main street of a town, where most shops, banks, etc. are:the record store in the High Street high street shops. In North American English Main Street is often used as a name for this street.Larger roads British and American English use different words for the roads that connect towns and cities. Motorways, (for example, the M57) in British English, freeways, highways or interstates, (for example State Route 347, Interstate 94, the Long Island Expressway) in North American English, are large divided roads built for long-distance traffic to avoid towns. A ring road (British English)/an outer belt (North American English) is built around a city or town to reduce traffic in the centre. This can also be called a beltway in North American English, especially when it refers to the road around Washington D.C. A bypass passes around a town or city rather than through the centre. see also backstreet, high street, side street Culturestreet namesIn Britain, main roads outside towns and cities are known by numbers rather than names. An exception is the A1 from London to north-eastern England, which is often called the Great North Road. Roads that follow the line of former Roman roads also have names, e.g. the Fosse Way. If a main road passes through a town, that part of it usually has a name, often that of the place which the road goes to, e.g. London Road.The main shopping street in a town is often called High Street, or sometimes Market Street. Many streets take their name from a local feature or building. The most common include Bridge Street, Castle Street, Church Street, Mill Street and Station Road. Some names indicate the trade that was formerly carried on in that area. Examples are Candlemaker's Row, Cornmarket, Petticoat Lane and Sheep Street. Many streets laid out in the 19th century were named after famous people or events. These include Albert Street, Cromwell Road, Shakespeare Street, Wellington Street, Trafalgar Road and Waterloo Street. When housing estates are built, the names of the new roads in them are usually all on the same theme. Names of birds or animals are popular. Others are based on the old names for the fields that the houses were built on, e.g. Tenacres Road, The Slade and Meadow Walk. The name of a road is written on signs at each end of it, sometimes together with the local postcode.Some streets have become so closely identified with people of a particular profession that the street name itself is immediately associated with them. In London, Harley Street has been associated with private doctors and Fleet Street with newspapers.In the US main roads such as interstates and highways are known by numbers. Most towns and cities are laid out on a grid pattern and have long streets with avenues crossing them. Each has a number, e.g. 7th Avenue, 42nd Street. The roads are often straight and have square blocks of buildings between them. This makes it easier to find an address and also helps people to judge distance. In Manhattan, for example, Tiffany's is described as being at East 57th Street and Fifth Avenue, i.e. on the corner of those two streets. The distance between West 90th Street and West 60th Street is 30 blocks.As well as having numbers, many streets are named after people, places, local features, history and nature. In Manhattan there is Washington Street, Lexington Avenue, Liberty Street, Church Street and Cedar Street. Some streets are named after the town to which they lead. The most important street is often called Main Street. A suburb or subdivision (= group of houses built together in a section of a city) of a city may have streets with similar names. In a subdivision of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, all the names end in ‚wood‘, e.g. Balsawood Drive, Limewood Drive and Aspenwood Drive.Some roads are called boulevards, with Hollywood's Sunset Boulevard and Miami's Biscayne Boulevard among the best known. Avenues usually cross streets, as in New York, but often the word is chosen as part of a name for no particular reason. Avenue and boulevard once indicated roads with trees along each side, but few have trees today. A road in the US is usually found outside cities, though Chicago uses the name for some central streets.Some street names have particular associations: Grant Avenue in San Francisco is associated with Chinatown, Beale Street in Memphis with the blues, and Bourbon Street in New Orleans with jazz. In New York Wall Street is associated with the financial world, Madison Avenue with advertising and Broadway with theatres. See related entries: Features of roads, House location, Types of road
  2. 2[singular] the ideas and opinions of ordinary people, especially people who live in cities, which are considered important The feeling I get from the street is that we have a good chance of winning this election. The word on the street is that it's not going to happen. Opinion on the street was divided.
  3. Word OriginOld English strǣt, of West Germanic origin, from late Latin strāta (via) ‘paved (way)’, feminine past participle of sternere ‘lay down’.Extra examples A couple were arguing out in the street. Argentinians took to the streets in protest. Crowds thronged the streets. Dead bodies littered the streets. Gangs roamed the streets at night. He could see her across the street. He grew up on the mean streets of one of the city’s toughest areas. He pleaded guilty to illegal street trading. He suffered extensive injuries in a street attack. He turned into a side street. He wandered through the streets of Calcutta. He works at a small store on Main Street. Her shocking autobiography is about to hit the streets. His spell in prison gained him a lot of street cred. I was living on 10th Street off Hudson. It really irritates me when people ride bicycles in pedestrian streets. Most local people support the idea of traffic-free streets. Most street names were changed under the new regime. Mozart is remembered by a street named after him. Police were told to clear the streets of drug dealers before the Olympics. Sales on the UK high street are in decline. She lives just up the street here. She parks her car in the street. She stepped out into the street. She was thrown onto the street. Spectators lined the streets. Take the second street on the right after the bridge. The charity is having a street collection in aid of the local hospital. The police have been patrolling the streets in this area since the murder. The shops had no street numbers on. The streets are teeming with traffic. The streets were packed with people shopping. There were photographers outside the street door so she used a back entrance. There’s a chemist’s just up the street. They walked along the street. Thousands of people were out on the streets for the protest. Tourists need to be wary of street hustlers near the station. We live in Barker Street. We turned down a dead-end street by mistake. You’ve taken the wrong street. a bar in a side street off Oxford Street a bar in a side street off the Champs-Élysées a charity set up to house street children a club just off William Street a painting of a typical Parisian street scene a plan to keep teenagers off the streets a rundown house in the back streets of London drugs with a street value of £5 million high-street retailers people dealing drugs on the street people engaged in informal street selling street fighting between police and stone-throwing youths streets lined with cafes the dense street pattern of the old town the street culture of working-class youth the town’s main shopping street Do you have a street plan of the town? I met him by chance in the street. I spotted her on the other side of the street. I walked up the street as far as the post office. It’s a medieval town, with narrow cobbled streets. It’s not safe to walk the streets around here. The office is at street level. The streets are very busy at this time of year. There are no street lights in the village. There are several banks in the high street.Idioms
    hit the streets, hit the shops/stores
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    (informal) to become widely available for sale The new magazine hits the streets tomorrow.
    the man (and/or woman) in the street
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    an average or ordinary person, either male or female Politicians often don't understand the views of the man in the street.
    enjoying a comfortable way of life with plenty of money
    (out) on the streets/street
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    (informal) without a home; outside, not in a house or other building the problems of young people living on the streets If it had been left to me I would have put him out on the street long ago.
    working as a prostitute
    streets ahead (of somebody/something)
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    (British English, informal) much better or more advanced than somebody/something else a country that is streets ahead in the control of environmental pollution Beth is streets ahead of all the other students in her year.
    the streets are paved with gold
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    (saying) used to say that it seems easy to make money in a place
    (right) up your street (especially British English) (usually North American English (right) up your alley)
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    (informal) very suitable for you because it is something that you know a lot about or are very interested in This job seems right up your street.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: street