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Straw, subst. 1) the stalk on which corn grows, and from which it is thrashed: “when shepherds pipe on oaten --s,” LLL V, 2, 913. “those that with haste will make a mighty fire, begin it with weak --s,” Caes. I, 3, 108. Emblem of weakness and insignificance: “our lances are but --s,” Shr. V, 2, 173. “oaths are --s,” H5 II, 3, 53. “start at wagging of a s.” R3 III, 5, 7. “spurns enviously at --s,” Hml. IV, 5, 6. “a pigmy's s. does pierce it,” Lr. IV, 6, 171. Hence == trifle: “I force not argument a s.” Lucr. 1021. “I prize it not a s.” Wint. III, 2, 111. “shall blow each dust, each s., each little rub, out of the path,” John III, 4, 128. “will not debate the question of this s.” Hml. IV, 4, 26. “find quarrel in a s.” Hml. IV, 4, 26
2) a mass of stalks of grain cut and thrashed: “a platted hive of s.” Compl. 8. “stuff me out with s.” H4B V, 5, 88. “a wisp of s. were worth a thousand crowns to make this shameless callet know herself,” H6C II, 2, 144 ("a wisp, or small twist, of straw or hay, was often applied as a mark of opprobrium to an immodest woman, a scold, or similar offenders; even the showing it to a woman was, therefore, considered as a grievous affront." Nares). “first thrash the corn, then after burn the s.” Tit. II, 3, 123. Proverbially combustible: “she burned with love, as s. with fire flameth,” Pilgr. 97. “the strongest oaths are s. to the fire i' the blood,” Tp. IV, 52. == bed-straw, litter: Meas. IV, 3, 38. All's IV, 3, 289. Lr. III, 2, 69. III, 4, 45. IV, 7, 40.
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