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


Oh, the relief of the tallness and straightness and whiteness!

But consider, a snubness of the nose, how is that more beautiful than straightness?

She told her story with sense and straightness, her frenzy subdued by the day's rigour.

But the grey in this case was not so pure, nor were the straightness and the slenderness so maidenly.

Under this imputation on her straightness Miriam flinched but for an instant.

Love of straightness, without love of learning, sinks into rudeness.

It loads at the breech, and fires with great force and straightness.

The real and essential meaning of 'virtue' is in that straightness of back.

The straightness of her nose was certainly comforting, but it, too, was short.

We were discussing the merits of directness in speech and straightness in every way.


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.