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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

a man of straw


a straw man

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Depute fiscal Ron Phillips said: "He is effectively a man of straw. The money he embezzled, he lost."
But he is a man of straw compared to Brown's granite.
And if we'd kept up the pressure the Man of Straw would probably have given way.
A man of straw - and his family - have provided some backbone for beleaguered Midland farmers.
"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.
But then Gordon Brown isn't a man of Straw. Something funny here, methinks.
For a politician occasionally dubbed "man of straw", Jack Straw is proving a remarkably tough Home Secretary.