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From Middle English streight, streght, streiȝt, the past participle of strechen (to stretch), from Old English streċċan, streccan (past participle ġestreaht, ġestreht), from Proto-Germanic *strakjaną, *strakkijaną (to stretch).



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.
    • 2000, Allan Wood, Babe Ruth and the 1918 Red Sox, page 293:
      He had no time to set himself, but his throw was straight and true. Pick slid in, spikes high, and Schang tagged him in the ribs a foot or two from the plate.
    • 2013 June 29, “Travels and travails”, in The Economist[1], volume 407, number 8842, page 55:
      Even without hovering drones, a lurking assassin, a thumping score and a denouement, the real-life story of Edward Snowden, a rogue spy on the run, could be straight out of the cinema. But, as with Hollywood, the subplots and exotic locations may distract from the real message: America’s discomfort and its foes’ glee.
  3. Perfectly horizontal or vertical; not diagonal or oblique. [from 17thc.]
    • 2004, Chris Weston, 500 Digital Photography Hints, Tips, and Techniques:
      There's nothing more annoying than taking a great picture, only to find that the horizon isn't straight.
  4. (obsolete) Stretched out; fully extended. [15th-16thc.]
  5. (obsolete, rare) Strait; narrow.
    • Sir John Mandeville (c.1350)
      Egypt is a long country, but it is straight, that is to say, narrow.
  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, The Guardian, Out of prison and trying to go straight [2] (4 Aug 2010)
      How easy is it to go straight after a life spent in and out of prison?
  7. 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 [].
  8. In a row, in unbroken sequence; consecutive. [from 19thc.]
    After four straight wins, Mudchester United are top of the league.
    • 2011 September 24, David Ornstein, “Arsenal 3-0 Bolton”, in BBC Sport:
      It moves them from 17th to 12th on seven points, while Bolton are now bottom of the table with five straight defeats.
    • 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.
  9. In proper order; as it should be. [from 19thc.]
    • 2007, Grant Allen, What's Bred in the Bone, page 140:
      Oh, music, how he loved it; it seemed to set everything straight all at once in his head.
    • 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?"
  10. Of spirits: undiluted, unmixed; neat. [from 19thc.]
    • 2003, Ron Jordan, Considerations:
      Real cowboys know how to rope, ride a horse and drink whisky straight.
    • 2003, Lowell Edmunds, Martini, Straight Up, page 94:
      The Martini is still in belief, if not in fact, the centerpiece of a rite, and people who would not drink straight gin on the rocks will drink straight gin on the rocks if it is called a Martini.
  11. (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, Alan Gardner & Barney Ronay, The Guardian, 15 March:
      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.
  12. (tennis) Describing the sets in a match of which the winner did not lose a single set. [from 19thc.]
    • 2011, Press Association, 10 February:
      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.
  13. (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
  14. (US, politics) Containing the names of all the regularly nominated candidates of a party and no others.
    a straight ballot
  15. (colloquial) Conventional, mainstream, socially acceptable. [from 20thc.]
    • 1994, Jarvis Cocker, ‘Do You Remember the First Time?’:
      You say you've got to go home. Well at least there's someone there that you can talk to. And you never have to face up to the night on your own. Jesus, it must be great to be straight.
    • 2007, Tracy Quan, Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl: A Novel, New York, N.Y.: Crown Publishers, →ISBN:
      "When you say he's a straight guy, you mean []?" I held up my left hand as if it were a shield and spun my ring around. I told her: "He works on Wall Street. [] He wouldn't understand my business. He's always had a straight job. His entire life he's been so – so normal that he doesn't even know how normal he is. [] He doesn't know I'm a hooker. I'm pretending to be a straight chick. And it's working! And that makes him a straight guy. It's ... I feel like Dr. Frankenhooker."
    • 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.’
  16. (fashion) Not plus size; thin.
    the shirts only come in straight sizes, not in plus sizes; shopping at a straight-sized store
  17. (colloquial) Not using alcohol, drugs, etc. [from 20thc.]
    • 1989, Gus Van Sant, Drugstore Cowboy:
      For all the boredom the straight life brings, it's not too bad.
    • 2001, Ruella Frank, Body of Evidence, page 28:
      ‘Alex's dad used a lot of drugs. He's been straight for years now, but it took a long time for him to be able to deal with his feelings.’
  18. (colloquial) Heterosexual.
    • 1997, Laura Harris; Elizabeth Crocker, Femme: Feminists, Lesbians, and Bad Girls, New York, N.Y.: Routledge, →ISBN, page 196:
      We only appear straight for the first five seconds. Just walking down the street, in the diner, or at the boardwalk, we hear, "Is she a man? Is she a woman? If she is a straight woman, what is she doing with this gay man?" We check in with each other. "What do you think, is it okay? I think we should go. I think we should cross over to the other side. Danger."
    • 2003, Helen Boyd, My Husband Betty: Love, Sex, and Life with a Crossdresser, New York, N.Y.: Thunder's Mouth Press, →ISBN, page 187:
      ["] [] He's a straight guy who does drag." At that, the man laughed. "Oh, you're putting me on!" He decided I must have been pulling his leg the whole time. He glanced back at my husband again. "So what's his number?" "The same as mine."
    • 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.
    • 2011, Jodi Picoult, Sing You Home, page 273:
      Angela smiles. ‘I'm straight, Zoe, and I'm happily married.’
    • 2012, Wheeler Winston Dixon, Straight: Constructions of Heterosexuality in the Cinema, Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, →ISBN, page 1:
      Every other mode of social discourse is "other," whether it be termed gay (or the newly acceptable queer), bisexual, or asexual, or embodied in the concept of the spinster, the confirmed bachelor, the old maid, or the same-sex couple who will never fit into the "straight" world, and doesn't or don't want to. The state of nonstraightness is essentially suspect; it is not seen as "right [or] correct."
    • 2013, Katie Price, He's the One, London: Century, →ISBN, page 233:
      Why did he have to be straight? It's my tragedy. When we went camping with the school, we shared a tent. I was hoping for a Brokeback Mountain moment. I mean, I know he's straight, but there's always hope.
  19. (sciences, 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)


Derived termsEdit

Terms derived from straight




The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


straight (comparative more straight, superlative most straight)

  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.
    • Addison
      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.



straight (plural straights)

  1. Something that is not crooked or bent such as a part of a road or track.
    • 2009, Robert Newton, Runner, New York, N.Y.: Alfred A. Knopf, →ISBN, page 191:
      After four grueling laps, the race had come down to a sprint. Into the straight, although my legs were burning, I called on them for more, and they responded. On my inside the maroon singlet came with me, until it was just the two of us heading for the line.
    • 2011, Gene W. Zepp, 24 Heures Du Mans, [S.l.]: Xlibris, →ISBN, page 19:
      Seppi started the engine, then shifted first gear and sped away into second, then third and fourth gear. Frank heard the roar of the Porsche's engine further down the straight and the back short straight. He held a stopwatch in his hand, waiting for him to come up into the straight from the hairpin curve.
  2. (poker) Five cards in sequence.
  3. (colloquial) A heterosexual.
    My friends call straights "heteros".
  4. (slang) A normal person; someone in mainstream society.
    • 1989, Bill Murray as Peter Venkman, Ghostbusters II:
      Boys! Boys! You're scaring the straights, okay? Is there any way that we could do this tomorrow?
    • 2014, Tribbe, Matthew D., “Turning a Miracle into a Bummer”, in No Requiem for the Space Age, →ISBN, page 150:
      More importantly, Blows Against the Empire [] more than any other work revealed the split vision towards space exploration among many in the counter-culture: a romantic vision of the freedom offered by space that had been fostered by a lifetime of science fiction consumption, immersion in a technological society, the countercultural yearning for speed and “the road,” and, thanks to LSD and other hallucinogens, a unique preappreciation of space traveling not available to straights, versus the bland, oppressive vision of exploration offered by NASA, itself just one part of a larger destructive system that was devastating Earth and that could only offer further oppression in space, not liberation.
  5. (slang) A cigarette, particularly one containing tobacco instead of marijuana. Also 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.]



The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


straight (third-person singular simple present straights, present participle straighting, simple past and past participle straighted)

  1. (transitive) To straighten.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of A. Smith to this entry?)

See alsoEdit

Poker hands in English · poker hands (layout · text)
high card pair two pair three of a kind straight
flush full house four of a kind straight flush royal flush



straight m (plural straights)

  1. (poker) straight (five cards in sequence)