from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A game played with a pile of straws or thin sticks, with the players attempting in turn to remove a single stick without disturbing the others.
- n. One of the straws or sticks used in this game.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. One of the pieces used for the game variously called jackstraws or pick-up-sticks.
- n. An insignificant person.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. An effigy stuffed with straw; a scarecrow; hence, a man without property or influence.
- n. One of a set of straws of strips of ivory, bone, wood, etc., for playing a child's game, the jackstraws being thrown confusedly together on a table, to be gathered up singly by a hooked instrument, without touching or disturbing the rest of the pile. See Spilikin. A modern variation, called
pick-up-sticks(U.S. 1940+), is played with thin wooden sticks of different colors, each color having different values for scoring; the sticks are dislodged from the pile with the hand or with one of the sticks.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A figure or effigy of a man made of straw; hence, a man without any substance or means; a dependent. Also jack of straw.
- n. One of a set of straws or strips of ivory, wood, bone, or the like, used in a children's game.
- n. plural The game thus played.
- n. [capitalized] In English history, a name assumed by rick-burners and destroyers of machines during the early years of the nineteenth century.
- n. The whitethroat, Sylvia cinerea, also called winnell-straw, from the straw used in making its nest. See strawsmall.
- n. The blackcap, Sylvia atricapilla.
- n. The narrow-leafed plantain, Plantago lanceolata. Also called rib-grass and English plantain.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a thin strip of wood used in playing the game of jackstraws
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Helping technopreneurs to excel and lead their life! reply jackstraw
The jackstraw debris of timber and slash was left to go crisp for a few months; then it was torched.
The jackstraw jumble of rotting wood made for uncertain footing.
His hand glided above the long arm-bones of the larger skeleton, a dark shadow fluttering like a large moth as it crossed the jackstraw pile of ribs.
They turned back to the business of the climb, scrambling over jackstraw falls of rock and crouch-walking up inclined planes of stone shot with glitters of quartz and mica.
Secure in my interpretation I looked it up in my American Heritage Dictionary today and found the following instead: jackstraw n.
Beyond the jackstraw heap of bodies the thick square door still hid the source of the tiny sounds, but Gann put them out of his mind.
Only a jackstraw heap of corpses and stirring near-dead marked where they had been.
But before God and all the holy angels, Blanche de Malétroit, if I have not, I care not one jackstraw.
Tell him we don't care a jackstraw for his mutiny, and that if he lives through it we'll take him in irons to Panama and have him hanged as high as Haman.