Meaning of STRAIGHT in English


I. straight 1 S1 W2 /streɪt/ BrE AmE adverb

[ Word Family: verb : ↑ straighten ; noun : ↑ straight ; adverb : ↑ straight ; adjective : ↑ straight ]

1 . IN A STRAIGHT LINE in a line or direction that is not curved or bent

straight ahead/at/down/in front of etc

The book is on the table straight in front of you.

She was looking straight at me.

Terry was so tired he couldn’t walk straight.

He was sitting with his legs stretched straight out in front of him.

2 . POSITION in a level or correct position:

He stopped in front of the mirror to put his tie straight.

Sit up straight, don’t slouch.

3 . IMMEDIATELY immediately, without delay, or without doing anything else first

straight to/up/down/back etc

I went straight up to bed.

Go straight home and tell your mother.

straight after

I’ve got a meeting straight after lunch.

I think I should get straight to the point.

4 . ONE AFTER THE OTHER happening one after the other in a series:

He’s been without sleep now for three days straight.

5 . HONEST ( also straight out ) if you say or ask something straight, you say it in an honest direct way, without trying to hide your meaning:

I just told him straight that I wouldn’t do it.

She came straight out with it and said she was leaving.

I hope, for your sake, you’re playing it straight (=being honest) .

I told him straight to his face (=speaking directly to him) what I thought of him.

6 . think/see straight if you cannot think or see straight, you cannot think or see clearly:

Turn the radio down – I can’t think straight.

7 . straight away ( also straight off ) British English spoken immediately or without delay:

I phoned my mum straight away.

8 . go straight informal to stop being a criminal and live an honest life:

Tony’s been trying to go straight for about six months.

9 . straight up spoken

a) used to ask someone if they are telling the truth:

Straight up? Did you really pay that much for it?

b) used to emphasize that what you are saying is true:

No, straight up, I’ve never seen him before.

10 . straight from the shoulder British English informal if someone speaks straight from the shoulder, they say things in a very direct way, without trying to be polite

II. straight 2 S2 W3 BrE AmE adjective ( comparative straighter , superlative straightest )

[ Word Family: verb : ↑ straighten ; noun : ↑ straight ; adverb : ↑ straight ; adjective : ↑ straight ]

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Origin: From an old past participle of stretch ]

1 . NOT BENDING OR CURVING something that is straight does not bend or curve:

a long, straight road

Try to keep your legs straight.

Always lift with a straight back.

her long, straight black hair

They sat down in a straight line.

The road was dead straight (=completely straight) .

2 . LEVEL/UPRIGHT level or upright, and not leaning to one side:

Is my tie straight?

straight white teeth

3 . TRUTHFUL honest and truthful:

I’d like a straight answer please.

Just give me a straight yes or no.

I think it’s time for some straight talk now.

be straight with somebody

I wish you’d just be straight with me.

4 . ONE AFTER ANOTHER [only before noun] happening immediately one after another in a series:

The team now has an amazing record of 43 straight wins.

5 . TIDY [not before noun] a room that is straight is clean and tidy and everything is in its proper place:

It took me two hours to get the house straight.

6 . get something straight spoken to understand the facts of a situation and be able to tell them correctly:

I wanted to get the facts straight.

Let me get this straight – Tom sold the car and gave you the money?

7 . set/put somebody straight to make someone understand the true facts about a situation:

Tell him to ask Ruth – she’ll put him straight.

8 . straight face if you have a straight face, you are not laughing or smiling even though you would like to:

I found it very difficult to keep a straight face.

9 . SEXUAL CHOICE informal someone who is straight is attracted to people of the opposite sex SYN heterosexual

10 . ALCOHOLIC DRINK a straight alcoholic drink has no water or any other drink added to it:

a straight whisky

11 . NOT OWING MONEY [not before noun] spoken if two people are straight, they no longer owe money to each other:

If you give me £10, then we’re straight.

12 . CHOICE/EXCHANGE [only before noun] a straight choice or exchange is between only two possible choices or things:

It was a straight choice between my career or my family.

We did a straight swap – one of my cards for one of his.

13 . FIGHT/COMPETITION [only before noun] a straight fight or competition is between only two people:

The election is now a straight fight between Labour and the Conservatives.

14 . NORMAL informal someone who is straight behaves in a way that is accepted as normal by many people but which you think is boring

15 . NOT FUNNY a straight actor or character does not try to make people laugh

16 . ONLY ONE TYPE completely one particular type of something:

It’s not a straight historical novel.

17 . DRUGS informal someone who is straight does not take illegal drugs

⇨ set/put the record straight at ↑ record

• • •


■ not hiding the truth or the facts

▪ honest saying what you really think and not hiding the truth or the facts:

I’m going to ask you something, and I want you to be honest with me.


an honest answer


To be honest, I didn’t think his speech was very good.

▪ straight informal honest and saying what you really think:

I can’t help you if you’re not straight with me.


I need a straight answer.

▪ open willing to talk about what you think, feel etc in an honest way, rather than trying to hide it:

People have become more open about their feelings.


She’s very easy to talk to because she’s so open.

▪ frank speaking honestly and directly about something, especially something that people find difficult to discuss:

In his book, he’s brutally frank about his experience with his illness.


a frank discussion about sex

▪ direct saying exactly what you think in an honest clear way, even when this might annoy or upset people:

Not everyone liked his direct manner.


She can be very direct.

▪ blunt speaking in a completely honest way, even if it upsets people, when it would be better to be more careful or polite:

Sorry if I was a bit blunt with you.


His hard tone and blunt words were hurtful.


She didn’t reply and I knew I had been too blunt.

▪ upfront [not before noun] informal talking and behaving in an honest way, even when it is difficult to do this, in a way that people respect:

It’s best to be upfront about your financial problems.


You have to be upfront with kids.

▪ outspoken expressing your opinions publicly in a very direct way, which may offend or annoy some people:

an outspoken critic of the government


He was known for his outspoken views on various controversies.

▪ forthright formal saying exactly what what you think, without being afraid of what other people will think:

The opposition have not come up with a clear forthright statement of their policies.


At times, Helena was a little too forthright.

▪ candid formal honest about the facts, or about your opinions and feelings, even if other people disapprove of them:

He’d always been completely candid about his past.


It was an unusually candid admission for a politician.

III. straight 3 BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: verb : ↑ straighten ; noun : ↑ straight ; adverb : ↑ straight ; adjective : ↑ straight ]

1 . [singular] especially British English the straight part of a ↑ racetrack

2 . the straight and narrow old-fashioned an honest and morally good way of life

3 . [countable] informal someone who is attracted to people of the opposite sex OPP gay

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.