Definitions

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

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • Helping technopreneurs to excel and lead their life! reply jackstraw

    Amazon To Launch Payments Services; Will Compete With PayPal and Google Checkout

  • The jackstraw debris of timber and slash was left to go crisp for a few months; then it was torched.

    The Song of The Dodo

  • The jackstraw jumble of rotting wood made for uncertain footing.

    Drowning World

  • 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.

    Dragonfly in Amber

  • 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.

    The Gunslinger

  • Secure in my interpretation I looked it up in my American Heritage Dictionary today and found the following instead: jackstraw n.

    The Annotated "Jack Straw"

  • 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.

    Starchild Omnibus

  • Only a jackstraw heap of corpses and stirring near-dead marked where they had been.

    Starchild Omnibus

  • But before God and all the holy angels, Blanche de Mal├ętroit, if I have not, I care not one jackstraw.

    The Short-story

  • 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.

    The Pirate of Panama A Tale of the Fight for Buried Treasure

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