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.


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