Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


But I got him too straight—let a drunken man alone for telling the truth when he's got it in him.

I certainly did need you to come along right now and set me straight.

The leader had gone with Joe Clune straight for the front car.

Straight to this sign Andrew walked and sat down at the table beneath it.

She confronted him in her straight white gown and waited for him to speak.

Now look me straight in the eye, and answer me truly and honestly.

And to think that chance led me from two thousand miles away, straight to him.

It's the man with the guilty conscience who looks you straight in the eye.

He took the straight road to her, and hastened on the way to her.

Here was speed, and with such stride—strong, and straight, and true!


mid-14c., "direct, undeviating, not crooked," properly "that which is stretched," adjectival use of Old English streht (altered, by analogy with streccan, from earlier streaht), past participle of streccan "to stretch" (see stretch (v.)). Meaning "true, direct, honest" is from 1520s. Of communication, "clear, unambiguous," from 1862. Sense of "undiluted, uncompromising" (e.g. straight whiskey, 1874) is American English, first recorded 1856.

Theatrical sense of "serious" (as opposed to popular or comic) is attested from 1895; vaudeville slang straight man first attested 1923. Go straight in the underworld slang sense is from 1919; straighten up "become respectable" is from 1907. Straight arrow "decent, conventional person" is 1969, from archetypal Native American brave name. To keep a straight face first recorded 1897; straight shooter is from 1928; straight-edge as a punk subculture is attested by 1987.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.