from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Plural form of jackstraw.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The game played with jackstraws{2}, which resembles pick-up-sticks.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a game in which players try to pick each jackstraw (or spillikin) off of a pile without moving any of the others


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • This open ground beneath the trees made walking anywhere easy in contrast to eastern forests with their thick bushy undergrowth and giant jackstraws deadfalls.

    Bird Cloud

  • He pointed to the timbers, some of which had been scattered like jackstraws.

    Bridge of the Separator

  • There was virtually nothing left inside, though the chimney stack still stood, and jagged bits of the walls remained, their logs fallen like jackstraws.

    A Breath of Snow and Ashes

  • The other men had come and hastily put a roof on, but the cabin as a whole reminded Roger of nothing so much as a pile of giant jackstraws, poised precariously on the side of the mountain and obviously only awaiting the next spring flood to slide down the mountain after its builder.

    A Breath of Snow and Ashes

  • I surged to my feet, clambered on top of the rock, and began to mow down the trees ahead of him, blasting the trunks near the base so they dropped like jackstraws.

    Sagittarius Whorl

  • Tree trunks, ten, twenty, a hundred feet long, were scattered like jackstraws, crisscrossing each other in ragged confusion.


  • I had seen human remains treated with far less reverence; the skulls of early Christian martyrs jammed cheek by bony jowl together in heaps in the catacombs, thigh bones tossed in a pile like jackstraws underneath.

    Dragonfly in Amber

  • On top of the soil, decomposing grass blades lie like jackstraws in an equally complex fabric.

    The Field Guide to Wildlife Habitats of the Eastern United States

  • Wreckage littered the beach, splintered building timbers and uprooted trees, all tossed there by the waves like so many jackstraws, with sometimes a rag or a stick of smashed furniture among them.

    The Urth of the New Sun

  • Scrambling to his feet, he began to pick his way among trees tossed like jackstraws, calling her name without reply.

    Conan The Unconquered


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