from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A line, mark, smear, or band differentiated by color or texture from its surroundings.
  • noun An inherent, often contrasting quality.
  • noun A ray or flash of light.
  • noun A brief run or stretch, as of luck.
  • noun An unbroken series, as of wins or losses.
  • noun Mineralogy The color of the fine powder produced when a mineral is rubbed against a hard surface. Used as a distinguishing characteristic.
  • noun Botany Any of various viral diseases of plants characterized by the appearance of discolored stripes on the leaves or stems.
  • noun Microbiology A sample of microorganisms that has been introduced into a solid culture medium by a needle drawn across its surface.
  • intransitive verb To mark with streaks.
  • intransitive verb To make streaks of a different, usually lighter color in (hair) using a chemical preparation.
  • intransitive verb Microbiology To inoculate (a culture medium) with a streak.
  • intransitive verb To form streaks.
  • intransitive verb To be or become streaked.
  • intransitive verb To move at high speed; rush.
  • intransitive verb To run naked in public, especially as a prank.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To stretch; extend.
  • To lay out, as a dead body.
  • To stretch out; shoot, as a rocket or a shooting-star.
  • noun A line, band, or stripe of somewhat irregular shape.
  • noun In mineralogy, the line or mark of fine powder produced when a mineral is scratched, or when it is rubbed upon a hard, rough surface, as that of unglazed porcelain.
  • noun In zoology, a color-mark of considerable length for its width, and generally less firm and regular than a stripe. See streaked, streaky, and compare stripe, 1.
  • noun Figuratively, a trait; a vein; a turn of character or disposition; a whim.
  • noun Nautical, same as strake, 6.
  • noun A rung of a ladder.
  • noun A short piece of iron, six of which form the wheel-tire of a wooden artillery-carriage.
  • To run swiftly.
  • To put a streak upon or in; break up the surface of by one or more streaks.
  • noun In turpentine-making, the portion of a bled pine-tree from which the resin exudes.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To form streaks or stripes in or on; to stripe; to variegate with lines of a different color, or of different colors.
  • transitive verb colloq. With it as an object: To run swiftly.
  • noun A line or long mark of a different color from the ground; a stripe; a vein.
  • noun (Shipbuilding) A strake.
  • noun (Min.) The fine powder or mark yielded by a mineral when scratched or rubbed against a harder surface, the color of which is sometimes a distinguishing character.
  • noun obsolete The rung or round of a ladder.
  • transitive verb Obs. or Prov. Eng. & Scot. To stretch; to extend; hence, to lay out, as a dead body.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An irregular line left from smearing or motion.
  • noun A continuous series of like events.
  • noun The color of the powder of a mineral. So called, because a simple field test for a mineral is to streak it against unglazed white porcelain.
  • noun A moth of the family Geometridae Chesias legatella.
  • noun A tendency or characteristic, but not a dominant or pervasive one.
  • verb intransitive to have or obtain streaks.
  • verb intransitive, slang to run naked in public
  • verb transitive to create streaks
  • verb transitive To move very swiftly.

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

  • noun a narrow marking of a different color or texture from the background
  • verb run naked in a public place
  • noun a sudden flash (as of lightning)
  • verb mark with spots or blotches of different color or shades of color as if stained
  • noun an unbroken series of events


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English streke, line, from Old English strica; see streig- in Indo-European roots.]


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word streak.


  • The Rocket's win streak is one (contradict perception of indespensibility?).

    Your Right Hand Thief 2008

  • The Rocket's win streak is one (contradict perception of indespensibility?).

    Only The English are British Newmania 2008

  • The Rocket's win streak is one (contradict perception of indespensibility?).

    Your Right Hand Thief 2008

  • The Rocket's win streak is one (contradict perception of indespensibility?).

    Letter Two Newmania 2008

  • The small win streak is important because Indiana had lost seven in a row before beating New York on Wednesday. 2007

  • That streak is one game short of Wayne Gretzky's league record for longest points streak from a debut with a new team, set in 1988 with Los Angeles. 2007

  • This win streak is Detroit's longest since winning 11 in a row from Dec. 14-Jan. 2007

  • The Los Angeles Lakers '33-game win streak is the longest among teams in the four major pro sports, bettering the 2003-04 New England Patriots (21), baseball's 1916 New York Giants (26) and the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins (17). - Basketball - Phoenix vs. Cleveland 2006

  • Team USA, riding a 167-game win streak, is well aware that the competition has improved and become more aggressive in hopes of knocking it off its perch. - Confident softball team counts on pitching depth 2004

  • TOMS RIVER - The title streak continues for two of South Jersey's storied wrestling programs. - News 2010


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "Getzlaf stretched his points streak to a career-high nine games" - Vancouver Sun, 1-10-08

    January 11, 2008

  • streak, n.

    BuzzFeed, 8 February 2016:

    ELSBITCH: Streaks are the MOST important thing on Snapchat. Not just one streak — you need to have multiple.

    I stopped her right there.

    ME: What is a streak?

    BROOKE: You don’t know what a streak is? It’s when you send a snap to one of your friends on consecutive days. You have to make sure to respond every day with a snap or you break the streak.

    ME: OK. Neat.

    February 29, 2016

  • "The streak of a mineral is the color of the powder produced when it is dragged across an un-weathered surface. Unlike the apparent color of a mineral, which for most minerals can vary considerably, the trail of finely ground powder generally has a more consistent characteristic color, and is thus an important diagnostic tool in mineral identification. If no streak seems to be made, the mineral's streak is said to be white or colorless. Streak is particularly important as a diagnostic for opaque and colored materials. It is less useful for silicate minerals, most of which have a white streak or are too hard to powder easily."

    January 12, 2023