man of straw


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man of straw

A weak person. "A straw man" is sometimes used as a variant. She thought he was strong and honest, but he turned out to be nothing more than a man of straw.
See also: man, of, straw

a man of straw

or

a straw man

BRITISH, FORMAL
A man of straw is a man whose character is weak and who lacks definite beliefs. The party is run by men of straw without guts and without principles. Note: In journalism, people also talk about straw men. This form of the expression is used in both British and American English. These are the responses of straw men with straw policies.
See also: man, of, straw

man of straw (or straw man)

1 a person compared to an effigy stuffed with straw; a sham. 2 a sham argument set up to be defeated, usually as a means of avoiding having to tackle an opponent's real arguments.
2 1991 Past & Present By making the representativeness of the case-studies into the crucial issue, Rubinstein is erecting a straw man which he can easily demolish without addressing the basic criticisms of his sources and methodology.
See also: man, of, straw

a ˌman of ˈstraw

a weak or cowardly person: You don’t need to be frightened of him — he’s a man of straw.
This idiom compares a person to a model of a man filled with straw (= stems of grain plants such as wheat, etc. that have been cut and dried).
See also: man, of, straw
References in periodicals archive ?
We thought we had found someone like that (in Carson Yeung) but he appears to be a man of straw.
Because, in truth, he's a man of straw with little useful to say.
Ghana's finest turned out to be a man of straw after arriving at Everton with a big reputation and glowing references from experts such as Arsene Wenger and Gerard Houllier.
A Dundee lawyer with clients owed money by Jackson said: "He's a man of straw.
Here is the message that Labour needs to carry into the next general election - Gordon Brown is a real man and caring Cameron is a man of straw.
To call Maruma a man of straw is an insult to haystacks.
At times the Dane would be called a lightweight by a man of straw, but the run in from the left and thumping shot against the Charlton bar in only the fourth minute summed up his afternoon.
Man of Straw ONCE again, the English thugs are laughing their heads off at the futile future sanctions on violence by Home Secretary Jack Straw.