Webster 1913 Edition



, AS.
, fr. L.
) a paved way, properly fem. p. p. of
, to spread; akin to E.
. See
, and cf.
Originally, a paved way or road; a public highway; now commonly, a thoroughfare in a city or village, bordered by dwellings or business houses.
He removed [the body of] Amasa from the
unto the field.
At home or through the high
☞ In an extended sense, street designates besides the roadway, the walks, houses, shops, etc., which border the thoroughfare.
His deserted mansion in Duke
Syn. – See

Webster 1828 Edition



[L., strewed or spread. See Strew.]
Properly, a paved way or road; but in usage, any way or road in a city, chiefly a main way, in distinction from a lane or alley.
Among the people of New England, any public highway.
Streets, plural, any public way, road or place.
That there be no complaining in our streets. Psalm 144.

Definition 2024



See also: street


Proper noun


  1. A surname.
  2. A town in Somerset, England.



See also: Street


Alternative forms

  • streete
  • streat, streate (obsolete)


street (plural streets)

a street
  1. A paved part of road, usually in a village or a town.
    Walk down the street.
  2. A road as above but including the sidewalks (pavements) and buildings.
    I live on the street down from Joyce Avenue.
  3. The people who live in such a road, as a neighborhood.
  4. The people who spend a great deal of time on the street in urban areas, especially, the young, the poor, the unemployed, and those engaged in illegal activities.
  5. (slang) Street talk or slang.
    • 2008, Andrew Fleming and Pam Brady, Hamlet 2, Focus Features
      Toaster is street for guns.
  6. (figuratively) A great distance.
    He's streets ahead of his sister in all the subjects in school.
    • 2011, Tom Fordyce, Rugby World Cup 2011: England 12-19 France
      England were once again static in their few attacks, only Tuilagi's bullocking runs offering any threat, Flood reduced to aiming a long-range drop-goal pit which missed by a street.
  7. (poker slang) Each of the three opportunities that players have to bet, after the flop, turn and river.
  8. Illicit, contraband, especially of a drug
    I got some pot cheap on the street.
  9. (attributive) Living in the streets.
    Street cat.
    Street urchin.

Usage notes

In the generical sense of "a road", the term is often used interchangeably with road, avenue, and other similar terms.

In the English language, in its narrow usage street specifically means a paved route within a settlement (generally city or town), reflecting the etymology, while a road is a route between two settlements. Further, in many American cities laid out on a grid (notably Manhattan, New York City) streets are contrasted with avenues and run perpendicular to each other, with avenues frequently wider and longer than streets.

In the sense of "a road", the prepositions in and on have distinct meanings when used with street, with "on the street" having idiomatic meaning in some dialects. In general for thoroughfares, "in" means "within the bounds of", while "on" means "on the surface of, especially traveling or lying", used relatively interchangeably ("don’t step in the road without looking", "I met her when walking on the road").

By contrast, "living on the street" means to be living an insecure life, often homeless or a criminal. Further, to "hear something on the street" means to learn through rumor, also phrased as "word on the street is...".


  • See also Wikisaurus:street

Derived terms

Related terms



street (comparative more street, superlative most street)

  1. (slang) Having street cred; conforming to modern urban trends.
    • 2003, Mercedes Lackey, Rosemary Edghill, James P. Baen, Mad Maudlin
      Eric had to admit that she looked street—upscale street, but still street. Kayla's look tended to change with the seasons; at the moment it was less Goth than paramilitary, with laced jump boots.


street (third-person singular simple present streets, present participle streeting, simple past and past participle streeted)

  1. To build or equip with streets.
    • c. 1645, James Howell, Epistolæ Ho-Elianæ: Familiar Letters Domestick and Foreign, London (10th ed., 1737), book I, section I, letter XII, 33:
      There are few Places this ſide the Alps better built, and ſo well ſtreeted as this; and none at all ſo well girt with Baſtions and Ramparts, which in ſome places are ſo ſpacious, that they uſually take the Air in Coaches upon the very Walls, which are beautified with divers rows of Trees and pleaſant Walks.
    • 1999, Ralph C. Hancock, America, the West, and Liberal Education, Rowman & Littlefield (ISBN 9780847692316), page 89
      After all, Thomas, in whose thinking Aristotle and Christ combine as never before or since, was censured by the Church, fortunately in absentia, after he had been " absented" from this little threshing floor, streeted with straw, our earth, and was, presumably, dwelling in beatific felicity, in any case, safe from Bishop Tempier.
    • 2011, Robert White, Romantic Getaways in San Francisco & the Bay Area, Hunter Publishing, Inc (ISBN 9781588438812)
      There is a cemetery next to the Mission, a small part of the huge one which was streeted over.
  2. To eject; to throw onto the streets.
    • 1959, The Irish Digest
      Stage doormen and all sorts of doormen are very quick at streeting a man who won't move fast. I know a well-known Irishman who at a New York theatre was streeted just because he was insisting on getting in when the house was apparently booked out.
  3. (sports, by extension) To heavily defeat.
    • 2002, John Maynard, Aborigines and the ‘Sport of Kings’: Aboriginal Jockeys in Australian Racing History, Aboriginal Studies Press (2013), ISBN 9781922059543, part II, 96:
      Wearing his custom-made silks, McCarthy duly rode the horse a treat as they streeted the opposition and helped connections clean up the bookies.
    • 2008, Steve Menzies, Norman Tasker, Beaver: The Steve Menzies Story, Allen & Unwin, ISBN 9781741755602, chapter 1, 5:
      But when I came back in Round 14, the team had lost only two of those previous 13 games, we were sitting with Melbourne at the top of the premiership table and the two clubs had virtually streeted the rest of the competition.
    • 2014, Rochelle Llewelyn Nicholls, Joe Quinn Among the Rowdies: The Life of Baseball's Honest Australian, McFarland & Company, Inc., ISBN 9780786479801, part VI, chapter 14, 205:
      Pennant winners Kansas City and nearest rivals St. Paul had streeted the Western League in 1901, but were brought back to the field in 1902 by a powerful Omaha outfit who just missed out on the pennant, their .600 win-loss percentage just outdone by Kansas City's .603.
  4. To go on sale.
    • 2003, Billboard, page 55
      He points to the success of a recent Destiny's Child DVD that streeted just after member Beyonce's new solo CD
    • 2005 February 12, Evans Price, Deborah, “Winans Ready To ‘Celebrate’ New Album After Illness”, in Billboard, volume 117, number 7, page 18:
      “Family & Friends 5” was recorded last May in Detroit at Greater Grace Temple. The event was also taped for a DVD that streeted the same day as the CD.
  5. (Japanese Mormonism) To proselytize in public.
    • 2000, Dow Glenn Ostlund, The Lost Tribes of Isuraeru: Belief Tales Among Mormon Missionaries in Japan
      A person I met streeting in Osaka told me the above Kanji examples as well as many others that I have since forgot.
    • 2007, John Patrick Hoffmann, Japanese Saints: Mormons in the Land of the Rising Sun, Lexington Books (ISBN 9780739116890), page 94
      Although streeting or tracting, as the first two contacting methods are known, tend to produce negligible results when seen through a broad sociological lens, there was often something about meeting American missionaries that appealed to our Japanese Latter-day Saints.
    • 2010, Eugene Woodbury, Tokyo South, Peaks Island Press, ISBN 9781452301037, chapter 9, 86:
      They streeted the rest of the afternoon, and each picked up an intro lesson. They went back to the church after dinner.


Most common English words before 1923: produce · drawn · field · #828: street · attempt · soft · officers