the street


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the street

1. A state of freedom, especially after incarceration. Sometimes pluralized. The notorious gangster is back on the street after technicality led to his case being dismissed. Some inmates have been locked up for so long that the streets feel more alien to them than prison.
2. A state of public consumption or usage. Sometimes pluralized. Police and federal agents have been working tirelessly to get the deadly new drug off the street. There are vendors all over this town selling their products on the streets.
3. A state of homelessness or joblessness. Sometimes pluralized. My estranged brother has been on and off the streets for the last five years. I've been living on the street for most of my adult life.
4. An informal shortening of Wall Street, referring either to the financial district of New York City or the United States financial industry as a whole. In this usage, "Street" is capitalized. He made his millions on the Street before retiring to Italy at 45.
See also: street

the street

1. n. the real, free world, as opposed to prison. The street just isn’t the same as stir.
2. n. Wall Street in New York City. (Usually capitalized.) The Street doesn’t seem to believe the policy makers in Washington.
See also: street
References in classic literature ?
The ape-man grinned and crossed quickly to the opposite side of the street, for his delicate senses indicated that at this point the breeze stirring through the city streets and deflected by the opposite wall would now blow from the lion toward him as the beast passed, whereas if he remained upon the side of the street upon which he had been walking when he discovered the carnivore, his scent would have been borne to the nostrils of the animal, and Tarzan was sufficiently jungle-wise to realize that while he might deceive the eyes of man and beast he could not so easily disguise from the nostrils of one of the great cats that he was a creature of a different species from the inhabitants of the city, the only human beings, possibly, that Numa was familiar with.
He had proceeded for some little distance and had about reached a point where he judged he would find the street which led up from the city gate when, at an intersection of two streets, his nostrils caught the scent spoor of the girl.
So, when they had crawled through the passage indicated by the vintner (which was a mere shelving-trap for the admission of casks), and had managed with some difficulty to unchain and raise the door at the upper end, they emerged into the street without being observed or interrupted.
The general alarm was so apparent in the faces of the inhabitants, and its expression was so aggravated by want of rest (few persons, with any property to lose, having dared go to bed since Monday), that a stranger coming into the streets would have supposed some mortal pest or plague to have been raging.
And presently men selling unnaturally early newspapers came bawling into the street:
Unable from his window to learn what was happening, my brother went down and out into the street, just as the sky between the parapets of the houses grew pink with the early dawn.
Others who were younger and less prudent remained in the streets; for there seems to have been a presentiment that some strange event was on the eve of taking place.
Once more something whistled, but this time quite close, swooping downwards like a little bird; a flame flashed in the middle of the street, something exploded, and the street was shrouded in smoke.
A drift of cloud made the prospect of the streets and squares hazy, and the rolling of the airship swung the picture up and down.
We could see the front of their column filling the street from gutter to gutter, as the last war-automobile fled past.
One of the men pointed into the street, and several of his companions laughed.
They confronted the soldiers, not wholly without arms, and ready to convert the very stones of the street into deadly weapons.
There are no street lamps there, and the law compels all who go abroad at night to carry lanterns, just as was the case in old days, when heroes and heroines of the Arabian Nights walked the streets of Damascus, or flew away toward Bagdad on enchanted carpets.
But the streets were becoming blacker and more deserted every moment.
If I had been astonished at first catching a glimpse of so outlandish an individual as Queequeg circulating among the polite society of a civilized town, that astonishment soon departed upon taking my first daylight stroll through the streets of New Bedford.