straw man

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straw man

n.
1. An argument or opponent set up so as to be easily refuted or defeated.
2. Law See dummy.

[From the making of sham human figures out of bundles of straw, as for use as scarecrows or practice targets .]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

straw man

n
1. (Crafts) a figure of a man made from straw
2. a variant of man of straw
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

straw′ man′


n.
1. a person whose function is only to cover another's activities; front.
2. a conveniently weak or innocuous person, object, or issue used as a seeming adversary or argument.
[1895–1900]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.straw man - a person used as a cover for some questionable activitystraw man - a person used as a cover for some questionable activity
beguiler, cheater, deceiver, trickster, slicker, cheat - someone who leads you to believe something that is not true
2.straw man - a weak or sham argument set up to be easily refuted
specious argument - an argument that appears good at first view but is really fallacious
3.straw man - an effigy in the shape of a man to frighten birds away from seedsstraw man - an effigy in the shape of a man to frighten birds away from seeds
effigy, simulacrum, image - a representation of a person (especially in the form of sculpture); "the coin bears an effigy of Lincoln"; "the emperor's tomb had his image carved in stone"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
Translations
References in periodicals archive ?
After a bewildering array of nonsequiturs and straw-man arguments, he eventually arrives at his favourite topic - the evil Tories, who are "lower than vermin...".
He also said CFA chairman Kostakis Koutsokoumnis was a "straw-man".
I'd have liked it if some of the column inches spent bashing postmodernism had instead mentioned an example of serious realworld harm caused by the straw-man definition of wilderness.
Straw-man cinema doesn't get much more ludicrous than this foolish and heavy-handed drama about an uncompromising preacher who finds himself the Job-like target of various crooked politicians and corrupt religious leaders, all bent on watering down the gospel for their own wicked gains.