see also: Straight
  • IPA: /stɹeɪt/

straight (comparative straighter, superlative straightest)

  1. Not crooked or bent; having a constant direction throughout its length. [from 14thc.]
    • 1811, Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility:
      I do not like crooked, twisted, blasted trees. I admire them much more if they are tall, straight and flourishing.
    • 1907, Robert William Chambers, chapter IX, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 24962326 ↗:
      “Heavens!” exclaimed Nina, “the blue-stocking and the fogy!—and yours are pale blue, Eileen!—you’re about as self-conscious as Drina—slumping there with your hair tumbling à la Mérode! Oh, it's very picturesque, of course, but a straight spine and good grooming is better. […]”
    • 2011, Adharanand Finn, The Guardian, 22 March:
      The other people, I presume, are supposed to be standing to attention, but they're all smiling at me. The lines are not even straight.
  2. (of a path, trajectory, etc.) Direct, undeviating. [from 15thc.]
    • 1913, John Fox, Jr., The Kentuckians, page 185:
      Now, as the world knows, the straightest way to the heart of the honest voter is through the women of the land, and the straightest way to the heart of the women is through the children of the land; and one method of winning both, with rural politicians, is to kiss the babies wide and far.
  3. Perfectly horizontal or vertical; not diagonal or oblique. [from 17thc.]
    • 1925, United States House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee No. 1, Charges Against William E. Baker, U.S. District Judge:
      Mr. Coniff: He did not have his hat on straight; that is the one thing, is it?
  4. (cricket) Describing the bat as held so as not to incline to either side; on, or near a line running between the two wickets. [from 19thc.]
    • 2011 March 15, Alan Gardner & Barney Ronay, The Guardian:
      Steyn continues and it's all a bit more orderly down his end as O'Brien defends the first three balls with a straight bat and a respectful dip of the head.
  5. Direct in communication; unevasive, straightforward. [from 19thc.]
    • 2003, Rosie Cowan, The Guardian, 24 April:
      Tony Blair issued a direct challenge to the IRA yesterday when he demanded they give straight answers to three simple questions […].
  6. Free from dishonesty; honest, law-abiding. [from 16th c.]
    • 1879, Anthony Trollope, John Caldigate:
      ‘It wasn't the proper thing, squoire. It wasn't straight.’
    • 2010 August 4, The Guardian, Out of prison and trying to go straight :
      How easy is it to go straight after a life spent in and out of prison?
  7. Serious rather than comedic.
    • 1988, Ed Gould, Entertaining Canadians: Canada's international stars, 1900-1988, Cappis Pr Pub Ltd (ISBN 9780919763180):
      Allan Blye, a CBC-TV mainstay in the early Sixties, worked as a singer, writer and straight and comedic actor.
    • 2004, Tammy Ravas, Peter Schickele: A Bio-bibliography, Greenwood Publishing Group (ISBN 9780313320705):
      All of Peter Schickele's music, both straight and comedic are integrated side by side in this chapter.
    • 2005, Bob McCabe, The Rough Guide to Comedy Movies, Rough Guides Limited:
      More success followed, both straight and comedic, with hits such as Dead Poets' Society (1989), in which Williams scored another Oscar nomination for skilfully handling a classic "rogue teacher" role that hovers just this side of sentimentality, […]
  8. In proper order; as it should be. [from 19thc.]
    • 2010, Paul Gallagher, The Observer, 15 August:
      "If you wonder why folks can't take the news seriously, here's Exhibit A," said one blogger. "Lord Jesus, how can the reporter file this story with a straight face?"
  9. In a row, in unbroken sequence; consecutive. [from 19thc.]
    After four straight wins, Mudchester United are top of the league.
    • 2008, "Bad vibrations", The Economist, 30 October:
      As of October 29th, three-month dollar Libor (the rate at which banks borrow from each other) had fallen for 13 straight days and was nearly one-and-a-half percentage points below its October 10th level.
  10. (tennis) Describing the sets in a match of which the winner did not lose a single set. [from 19thc.]
    • 2011 February 10, Press Association:
      Murray started well against Marcos Baghdatis before slumping to defeat in straight sets and the British No1 admitted he may not have been mentally prepared for the rigours of the ATP Tour after a gruelling start to 2011.
  11. (US, politics) Making no exceptions or deviations in one's support of the organization and candidates of a political party.
    a straight Republican
    a straight Democrat
  12. (US, politics) Containing the names of all the regularly nominated candidates of a party and no others.
    a straight ballot
  13. (colloquial) Conventional, mainstream, socially acceptable. [from 20thc.]
    • 1998, Eileen Fitzpatrick & Dominic Pride, Billboard, 17 October 1998:
      ‘Her last album was a bit too straight,’ he says, ‘but this one puts her in a more contemporary framework and softens her music.’
  14. (colloquial) Heterosexual, attracted to people of the opposite sex.
    • 2007, Layla Kumari, The Guardian, 17 September:
      Some of my friends – gay and straight – seem unable to understand the close but platonic nature of my and Gian's relationship, but have been supportive.
  15. (colloquial, of a romantic or sexual relation) Occurring between people of opposite sex.
    straight marriage, sex, relationship
  16. (colloquial) Not using alcohol, drugs, etc. [from 20thc.]
    Synonyms: straightedge
    • 1989, Gus Van Sant, Drugstore Cowboy:
      For all the boredom the straight life brings, it's not too bad.
  17. (fashion) Not plus size; thin.
    the shirts only come in straight sizes, not in plus sizes
    shopping at a straight-sized store
  18. (rare, now, chiefly, religion) Strait; narrow.
  19. (obsolete) Stretched out; fully extended. [15th-16thc.]
  20. (slang) Thorough; utter; unqualified.
    • 2012, Pimpin' Ken, PIMPOLOGY: The 48 Laws of the Game, page 11:
      A real pimp is a gentleman, but these are pimps in gorilla suits. They hang around pimps, they have hoes on the track working for them, they may even look like pimps, but they are straight simps.
  21. Of spirits: undiluted, unmixed; neat. [from 19thc.]
  22. (science, mathematics) Concerning the property allowing the parallel-transport of vectors along a course that keeps tangent vectors remain tangent vectors throughout that course a course which is straight, a straight curve, is a geodesic.
Antonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Adverb


  1. Of a direction relative to the subject, precisely; as if following a direct line.
    The door will be straight ahead of you.
    Go straight back.
  2. Directly; without pause, delay or detour.
    On arriving at work, he went straight to his office.
    • 1713, Joseph Addison, Cato, published 1712, [Act 1, scene 1]:
      I know thy generous temper well; / Fling but the appearance of dishonour on it, / It straight takes fire, and mounts into a blaze.
  3. Continuously; without interruption or pause.
    He claims he can hold his breath for three minutes straight.
Translations Translations Noun

straight (plural straights)

  1. Something that is not crooked or bent such as a part of a road or track.
  2. (poker) Five cards in sequence.
  3. (colloquial) A heterosexual.
    Synonyms: hetero, breeder
    My friends call straights "heteros".
  4. (slang) A normal person; someone in mainstream society.
    Synonyms: Thesaurus:mainstreamer
  5. (slang) A cigarette, particularly one containing tobacco instead of marijuana. Also straighter#Noun|straighter. [from 20th c.]
    • [1923, J[oseph] Manchon, Le slang : lexique de l'anglais familier et vulgaire : précédé d'une étude sur la pronunciation et la grammaire populaires, p. 296:
      A straight = a straighter = a straight cut, une cigarette en tabac de Virginie.]
Translations Translations Translations Verb

straight (straights, present participle straighting; past and past participle straighted)

  1. (transitive) To straighten.

Proper noun
  1. Surname

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