General English

  • noun dry stems and leaves of crops, used for animals to sleep on
  • noun a thin plastic tube for sucking up liquids


  • noun the dry stems and leaves of crops such as wheat and oilseed rape left after the grains have been removed
  • noun grass which is mowed after flowering.

Cars & Driving

  • noun a convenient DIY tool for blowing debris from the sparking plug recess before plug removal


  • noun a long thin tube used for sucking up a drink

Origin & History of “straw”

Straw is etymologically something ‘strewn’ on the floor. The word goes back to a prehistoric Germanic *strāwam (source also of German stroh, Dutch stroo, Swedish strå, and Danish straa). this was formed from the same base as produced strew (OE), and goes back ultimately to Indo-European *ster- ‘spread’, source also of Latin sternere ‘spread out’ (from which English gets prostrate, strata, etc). Dried grain stalks were commonly scattered over floors as an ancient form of temporary carpeting, and so they came to be termed straw.