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1. jackstraws(used with a sing. verb) A game played with a pile of straws or thin sticks, with the players attempting in turn to remove a single stick without disturbing the others.
2. One of the straws or sticks used in this game.


1. (Games, other than specified) a thin strip of wood used in the game of spillikins
2. informal an insignificant person



1. one of the thin strips of wood or other material used in jackstraws.
2. jackstraws, (used with a sing. v.) a game in which piled jackstraws must be picked up, one by one, without disturbing the heap.
[1590–1600; earlier, scarecrow, after Jack Straw, name or nickname of one of the leaders of the rebellion headed by Wat Tyler in 1381 in England]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.jackstraw - a thin strip of wood used in playing the game of jackstraws
strip - thin piece of wood or metal


[ˈdʒækstrɔː] N (US) → pajita f
References in periodicals archive ?
Many of Eugene Celebration groups - such as Jackstraw, the Shook Twins, And And And and Chuck Prophet - come through town fairly often.
The pond is part of the headwaters for Jackstraw Brook.
CRO's Moose Lake camp lies in the middle of a huge burn, bristling with jackstraw blown-down timber--blowdown--overgrown with doghair regrowth trees 10-15 feet high.
His life was made to play out at high levels of government-a jackstraw caught up in the winds of the law and the land.
Walter Wolfgang, 84, famously ejected from the 2005 Labour Party conference for heckling JackStraw, was among the organisers of the first Aldermaston rally.
Bevan said: 'If we are guided by people like [Foreign Secretary] JackStraw, who recently shook hands with Robert Mugabe, no wonder we have a lack of government leadership.
Floods have caused severe damage to homes on Warren Street when Jackstraw Brook, which runs under the road, overflows during rainstorms.
FOREIGN Secretary JackStraw could be asked to intervene on behalf of a Welsh grandfather held in Afghanistan.
Lord Williams of Mostyn,pictured in 2002 with his Jack Russell,Bippy, which had won the Westminster Dog of the Year competition Picture: CHRIS YOUNG; Foreign Secretary JackStraw arriving at Westminster Abbey yesterday; Lord Williams' widow, Lady Williams
He risks being stripped of his unpaid job as Parliamentary aide to Foreign Secretary JackStraw.
You can usually find ways to detour around jackstraw logs.
No doubt it will be reiterated to his Lordship that he is the one senior figure in this People's Government who was not actually elected by the people, as the Home Secretary Mr JackStraw reportedly had to remind him only recently when he began referring to the Chancellorship as the "Justice Department".