man of straw


Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

man of straw

n
1. a person of little substance
2. chiefly Also called: straw man US a person used as a cover for some dubious plan or enterprise; front man
3. a man who cannot be relied upon to honour his financial commitments, esp because of his limited resources

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]
References in classic literature ?
"A man of straw," cried Anna, with unfeeling levity; "no such creature in the world, I do assure you!"
Our travellers returned to the city by the way of Montreal and Lake Champlain; nor was it until Julia had been the happy wife of Charles Weston for more than a year, that she could summon resolution to own that she had once been in love, like thousands of her sex, "with a man of straw!"
"If the defendant be a man of straw, who is to pay the costs, Sir?"
But, Nana Nanabanyin Ninsin-Imbeah II, Ex-Nyimfahen of the Mfantseman Council in the Ashanti Region, has expressed shock that no leas a personality than a comrade (Asiedu Nketia), who he described in the strictest sense as 'a man of straw', could propose such huge monies as a condition for contesting the presidential primary.
Sitting in Dungannon courthouse, the judge added it was also accepted Harron was now a "man of straw", as described by his own counsel, and a man bitterly remorseful and ashamed of having to appear in court on such charges.
After all, it was this man of straw who had declared among his kinder intentions decapitation and prolonged hospitalisation in intensive care for his opponent.