Definition of streak in English:

streak

Line breaks: streak
Pronunciation: /striːk
 
/

noun

1A long, thin line or mark of a different substance or colour from its surroundings: a streak of oil
More example sentences
  • When choosing beef fillet, the outer flesh should be a bright, purplish-red colour laced with thin streaks of white fat.
  • They have a thin streak of white scales that extends above their anterior eyes.
  • Solid streaks of cerulean blue or vibrant cyan give the small details she depicts a life that can only be attained through extensive, lucid observation.
Synonyms
band, line, strip, stripe, vein, slash, bar; ray, finger, pencil, stroke; trace, touch, fleck, dash
technical stria, striation, lane
mark, smear, smudge, stain, blotch
informal splodge, splotch
1.1 Microbiology A narrow line of bacteria smeared on the surface of a solid culture medium.
More example sentences
  • DNA was added by touching a sterile pipette tip to one of the bacterial streaks and twirling it briefly in the reaction mix.
  • A gradient of UV doses was achieved by uncovering successive sections of the bacterial streaks.
  • When the plants were mature, virally infected streaks were excised for RNA extraction.
2An element of a specified kind in someone’s character: there’s a streak of insanity in the family Lucy had a ruthless streak
More example sentences
  • Today's reading highlights the jealous streak in his character.
  • Her uncle always possessed a materialistic streak to his character, even when it came down to breaks between appointments.
  • Rather, it was a combination of both mental and physical elements that kept the streak alive.
Synonyms
element, vein, trace, touch, dash, strain; trait, characteristic
2.1 [usually with adjective] A continuous period of specified success or luck: the theatre is on a winning streak
More example sentences
  • This losing streak continued against Trinidad.
  • In the midst of a losing streak, a contingent of backup players complained about playing time.
  • The team entered last weekend on a season-high six-game losing streak, and it appears other teams are catching up to Minnesota.
Synonyms
period, spell, stretch, run, time; series
British informal patch
3 informal An act of running naked in a public place so as to shock or amuse others: a streak for charity

verb

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1 [with object] Cover (a surface) with streaks: tears streaking her face, Cynthia looked up his beard was streaked with grey
More example sentences
  • It was streaked with tears and his shirt was covered in blood.
  • Out on the roof, the sky was black streaked with light.
  • He uncovered his face, which was streaked with tears.
Synonyms
stripe, band, bar, fleck
technical striate
archaic freak
mark, daub, smear, smudge, stain
informal splodge, splotch
1.1Dye (hair) with long, thin lines of a different colour to that of one’s natural hair colour: [with object and complement]: hair that was streaked blonde
More example sentences
  • Liz nudged her towards a chair next to a boy with naturally streaked blond hair that was down past his ears.
  • So all he had to do to gain passage into the Vodas Village main Undertunnel was tell his name and peel back the hood on his cloak to show his odd blue streaked blond hair.
  • He'd be sitting on the kitchen counter most likely, running his hands through his red streaked blonde hair.
1.2 Microbiology Smear (a needle, swab, etc.) over the surface of a solid culture medium to initiate a culture: swabs were streaked directly on blood agar plates
More example sentences
  • To determine the presence of yeast in cloacae, swabs were streaked onto Sabouraud's dextrose agar and incubated for 14 days.
  • They did germinate on synthetic medium, but were inviable when streaked onto solid rich medium.
  • Deletion suppressors obtained were streaked onto SD medium and incubated at 35.5° for 5 days.
2 [no object, with adverbial of direction] Move very fast in a specified direction: the cat streaked across the street
More example sentences
  • There was a flash of light between them, streaking down so fast Jennifer didn't catch any glare until it was over.
  • He came slowly in through the plants, the cat streaking past him in alarm.
  • My anger wore off quickly as I walked home, but not before I had unnecessarily kicked a stone hard and barely missed a giant black cat that had streaked past.
Synonyms
race, dash, rush, run, sprint, bolt, dart, gallop, career, charge, shoot, hurtle, hare, bound, fly, speed, zoom, go hell for leather, plunge, dive, whisk, scurry, scuttle, scamper, scramble
informal tear, belt, pelt, scoot, zap, zip, whip, step on it, get a move on, hotfoot it, leg it, steam, put on some speed, go like a bat out of hell, burn rubber
British informal bomb, go like the clappers, bucket, put one's foot down
Scottish informal wheech
North American informal boogie, hightail it, clip, barrel, get the lead out
informal , dated cut along
North American vulgar slang drag/tear/haul ass
literary fleet
archaic post, hie, haste
3 [no object] informal Run naked in a public place so as to shock or amuse others: the singer admitted to streaking in his home town in the seventies
More example sentences
  • He became famous for such antics as dancing on table tops, enlivening parties by performing bump and grind striptease acts and, once, streaking naked around a swimming pool.
  • Two men arrested for streaking naked at a rugby match in Newlands on Saturday would no longer be welcome at the ground, the Western Province Rugby Football Union said yesterday.
  • And in the 1970s, the fad was streaking: running naked through campus.

Origin

Old English strica, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch streek and German Strich, also to strike. The sense 'run naked' was originally US slang.

Phrases

like a streak

informal Very fast: he is off like a streak
More example sentences
  • Of all the fish Charlie is always the first to spot your approach, crossing the pool like a streak of greased lightning to stick his head out of the water.
  • Then he was off like a streak, running up the hill.
  • Suddenly she took off, like a streak, straight ahead, and vanished out of sight.

streak of lightning

A flash of lightning: a streak of lightning split the sky
More example sentences
  • It was only afterwards that one of the men said there was no thunder, just a streak of lightning and the tree broke and fell.
  • Emma, as if to discount the effects of the sprained ankle, ‘nonplussed her opponents… by dodging here and there with the rapidity of a streak of lightning.’
  • He hadn't yet decided when a loud clap of thunder made him jump, coinciding with a streak of lightning.
Synonyms
bolt, shaft, flash, beam

Derivatives

streaker

noun
sense 3 of the verb.
More example sentences
  • If there are a few people who are bothered by streaking, should their wish to participate in a campus event without dealing with streakers outweigh everyone else's clearly demonstrated support for streaking?
  • ‘I have had streakers on before, and that has been vaguely amusing,’ said Dickson.
  • The streakers ran on to the field at the Olympic stadium, and disrupted play until they were caught by security.

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