from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Chiefly British A thin, dried stalk of grass.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A grass used for making ropes or for plaiting, especially Agrostis Spica-ventis.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The old stalk of various grasses, as the tufted hair-grass, Deschampsia (Aira) cæspitosa, the dog's-tail, Cynosurus cristatus, or Apera (Agrostis) Spica-venti.
- n. The whitethroat, Sylvia cinerea: same as jackstraw, 5.
My dear man of moods! my good vagabond! my windlestraw of circumstance! constant only to one ideal -- the unattainable perfection in a kind of roguish art.
I knew the windlestraw, Guy de Villehardouin, a raw young provincial, come up the first time to Court, but a fiery little cockerel for all of that.
But before I found them, I encountered a windlestraw which showed which way blew the wind and gave promise of a very gale.
The two men carried the chest along at a rate that perhaps came easily enough to Jim Lucky, who was a young giant of a seaman, but was astonishing for a thin, windlestraw of a man such as Glass.
"Ai-ee!" cried the accused, still shielding his neck and cowering in the dust -- a thin ragged windlestraw of a youth, flaxen-headed, hatchet-faced, with eyes set like a hare's.
But before I found them I encountered a windlestraw which showed which way blew the wind and gave promise of a very gale.
"Lever it!" cried the gruff voice, "if you have the backbone of a windlestraw, lever!"
The sound of his pipe was like singing wasps, and like the wind that sings in windlestraw; and it took hold upon men's ears like the crying of gulls.
They call their exercise a tournament, although in their whole exertions every blow is aimed behind the back, and not one has the courage to throw his windlestraw while he perceives that of another pointed against himself.”
a windlestraw, while the horse of an omnibus, falling on the slippery asphalt, made a sort of dyke in front of Christophe, by which the opposing streams of carriages were dammed, so that for a few moments there was an impassable barrier.