Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: DRINK

Language: Old English
Origin: streaw

straw

noun
     
straw
straw S3
1
a) [uncountable]HBPTA the dried stems of wheat or similar plants that animals sleep on, and that are used for making things such as baskets, hats etc [↪ hay]:
a straw hat
b) [countable]HBP a single dried stem of straw
straw
2 [countable]DFD a thin tube of paper or plastic for sucking up liquid from a bottle or a cup:
She sipped her lemonade through a straw.
3

the last straw

also the straw that breaks the camel's back the last problem in a series of problems that finally makes you give up, get angry etc:
Making me work late on Friday was the last straw.
4

be clutching/grasping at straws

to be trying everything you can to succeed, even though the things you are doing are not likely to help or work
5

straw in the wind

British English a sign of what might happen in the future:
There have been a few straws in the wind suggesting things might be getting a little better.
6

straw man

American English a weak opponent or imaginary argument that can easily be defeated

➔ draw the short straw

at draw1 (29)
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