a straw in the wind

straw in the wind

A minor event or action that predicts or foreshadows a future event. His negative remark about marriage was a straw in the wind that suggested he was headed for a divorce. Bill didn't get the promotion and, looking back, I think his very public argument with the boss was a straw in the wind.
See also: straw, wind

a straw in the wind

BRITISH, JOURNALISM
If an event is a straw in the wind, it is a sign of the way in which a situation may develop. There is some evidence that the economy is starting to climb out of recession. The latest straw in the wind is a pick-up in sales among the nation's retail giants. These were straws in the wind, a foretaste of what was to come. Note: People sometimes drop pieces of straw in order to see which way they move as they fall, so that they can tell which way the wind is blowing.
See also: straw, wind

a straw in the wind

a slight but significant hint of future developments.
See also: straw, wind

a straw in the ˈwind

(British English) an unimportant incident or piece of information which shows you what might happen in the future: Journalists are always looking for straws in the wind.
See also: straw, wind
References in periodicals archive ?
A straw in the wind that has received little public notice is the ability of some major businesses to borrow money at lower rates than the federal government.
For now, just a straw in the wind, but a gain in momentum could return banks to focusing on their essential role and to the betterment of all.
Sometimes a straw in the wind can be a great teacher.
It was certainly no more than, well, a straw in the wind, but on the eve of the Iowa caucuses, Sen.