Meaning of STREAK in English


I. ˈstrēk noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English strek, streke, strik, strike, from Old English strica line, streak; akin to Middle Dutch streke line, stroke, Old High German strich, Gothic striks line, stroke, Latin striga row, furrow — more at strike

1. obsolete : a linear mark or cut

in the microscope … you may see the very streaks — Henry Power


a. : an irregular or indistinct stripe on the coat of an animal or the plumage of a bird

a magnolia warbler … his bluish gray back and yellow breast crossed by a black band from which black streaks run downward — W.P.Smith


(1) : an irregular strip or line of contrasting color or texture causing variation in or on a surface

faded streaks in a curtain where the sun hits it

bacon with a thick streak of lean

(2) : an incision made by chipping a pine tree for obtaining turpentine

c. : the color of the fine powder of a mineral obtained by scratching, pulverizing, or rubbing against a hard white surface, often differing from the color of the mineral in mass, and being important as a distinguishing character especially for minerals having metallic luster

d. : an imperfection in glass consisting of a wavy or colored line that distorts an image


(1) : a threadlike striation

(2) : inoculum implanted (as with a needle drawn across the surface) in a line or stripe upon a solidified culture medium

(3) : streak culture


(1) : any of several virus diseases of plants (as the potato, tomato, raspberry, or sugarcane) resembling mosaic but usually producing at least some linear markings — compare; bluestem 2, tomato streak

(2) : a disease of sweet peas caused by a bacillus ( Erwinia lathyri ) and characterized by brownish spots or streaks on the stem, petioles, and leaves


a. : a narrow band of light

the first grey streaks of dawn — R.S.Porteous

a streak of moonlight came in through the window — Sherwood Anderson

burning oil flew outwards in a streak — Nevil Shute

b. : a dart of lightning : bolt

in dazzling streaks the vivid lightnings play — William Cowper

off like a streak , heading … down the homestretch — New York Times


a. : a slight admixture (as of an inherent character) : strain , trace

the streak of extreme stubbornness … was both his strength and his misfortune — J.K.Galbraith

a streak of Indian blood in him — A.W.Long

b. : a brief run (as of luck)

when he hits a streak … everything's dandy — Hamilton Basso

c. : a consecutive series (as of victories or defeats)

had a long winning streak and took the … lead — A.J.Liebling

d. : a short interval or transitory phase : fit , spell

got started on one of her talking streaks — Erskine Caldwell


a. : a long irregular strip (as of land or water)

a streak of deep green brush marks the course of a creek — American Guide Series: Arkansas

b. : a narrow layer (as of ore) : seam , vein

struck a pay streak at a thousand feet

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

transitive verb

1. : to make streaks on or in : striate

the water was streaked with the sunset colors — R.H.Newman

the sense of living nature seems to streak some of his more recent pages — Cecil Sprigge

2. : to prepare a streak culture of

intransitive verb


a. : to make streaks

ribbons of rust streak down … from patches of corrugated iron on the roof — James Reynolds

b. : to rush swiftly : bolt , rocket

lightning streaks from cloud to cloud

reporters … streaked through the crowd and out of the doors searching for telephones — Erle Stanley Gardner

jet planes streaked to three new transcontinental speed records — Newsweek

when the nurse opened the door, the cat streaked in — Henrietta Weigel

2. : to become streaked

hair beginning to streak with gray

III. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English streken to stroke, probably from Middle Dutch — more at stroke

obsolete : rub , smear

with the juice of this I'll streak her eyes — Shakespeare



variant of strake

V. ˈstrēk

variant of streek

VI. noun

: an act or instance of streaking

VII. intransitive verb

: to run naked through a public place

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.