from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A survey of opinion which is unofficial, casual, or ad hoc.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an unofficial vote taken to determine opinion on some issue
It may allude to a straw (thin plant stalk) held up to see in what direction the wind blows, in this case, the wind of group opinion. (Wiktionary)