draw straws

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Related to Drawing straws: drawing the short straw

draw straws

To decide something by picking at random from straws of different lengths. The person who pulls the shortest straw is usually the one chosen for something, often an unpleasant task. Let's draw straws to decide who will go first—it's the only fair way to do it.
See also: draw, straw

draw straws

Also, draw lots. Decide by a lottery using straws of different lengths. For example, Let's draw straws to see who will write the first draft. The lots version dates from the 1400s, whereas straws dates from the 1800s. Both have replaced the still older draw cuts. Another variant is draw the short straw, meaning to be the one so selected for a particular task.
See also: draw, straw

draw straws

If you draw straws, you decide who will do something or have something by choosing pieces of straw or something similar with different lengths. We drew straws for the crash helmets. We drew straws for who had to make dinner, and I lost.
See also: draw, straw

ˌdraw ˈstraws (for something)

decide on somebody to do or have something, by choosing pieces of paper, etc: We drew straws for who went first.
See also: draw, straw

draw straws

To decide by a lottery with straws of unequal lengths.
See also: draw, straw
References in periodicals archive ?
Drawing straws to get inside the room, it was fixed so they all met her.
While we were drawing straws Owlface said, "I still remember when we first met The Old Man.
Ken recalled that in the early days the "most exciting part of the day was waiting for the mailman to come to see if anyone had sent an order or a check, or when we met a cash-flow crisis by drawing straws to see what partner went off salary.
Your team spends an entire afternoon squabbling and drawing straws in the office.
The game can also be used as a competition or selection method amongst friends similar to throwing the dice, coin flipping or drawing straws.
In order to decide who gets to be part of the deadly mission, the group resorts to drawing straws, hence the title of the episode.