- 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 See related entries: Crops
- 2[countable] a single stem or piece of straw He was leaning over the gate chewing on a straw.
- 3(also drinking straw) a thin tube of plastic or paper that you suck a drink through Word Origin Old English strēaw, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch stroo and German Stroh, also to strew.Extra examples She drank her milkshake through a straw. The animals sleep on straw. The rat hid in the straw.Idioms 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?
to be the person in a group who is chosen or forced to perform an unpleasant duty or task I drew the short straw and had to clean the toilets. to decide on somebody to do or have something, by choosing pieces of paper, etc. We drew straws for who went first.
the last in a series of bad events, etc. that makes it impossible for you to accept a situation any longer (British English) to try to work without the necessary material, money, information, etc. (British English) a small sign of what might happen in the future