Is it ensure, insure, or assure?


[streek] /strik/
a long, narrow mark, smear, band of color, or the like:
streaks of mud.
a portion or layer of something, distinguished by color or nature from the rest; a vein or stratum:
streaks of fat in meat.
a vein, strain, or admixture of anything:
a streak of humor.
  1. a spell or run:
    a streak of good luck.
  2. an uninterrupted series:
    The team had a losing streak of ten games.
a flash leaving a visible line or aftereffect, as of lightning; bolt.
Mineralogy. the line of powder obtained by scratching a mineral or rubbing it upon a hard, rough white surface, often differing in color from the mineral in the mass, and serving as an important distinguishing character.
Plant Pathology.
  1. an elongated, narrow, superficial lesion on stems or leaf veins, becoming brown and necrotic.
  2. any disease characterized by such lesions.
verb (used with object)
to mark with a streak or streaks; form streaks on:
sunlight streaking the water with gold; frost streaking the windows.
to lighten or color (strands of hair) for contrastive effect.
to dispose, arrange, smear, spread, etc., in the form of a streak or streaks:
to streak cold germs on a slide for microscopic study.
verb (used without object)
to become streaked.
to run, go, or work rapidly.
to flash, as lightning.
to make a sudden dash in public while naked, especially as a prank.
blue streak. blue streak.
before 1000; (noun) Middle English streke, akin to strike, Old English strica stroke, line, mark; cognate with German Strich, Gothic striks stroke, Latin strigil strigil; (v.) late Middle English streken to cross out, derivative of the noun (akin to strike, stroke1)
Related forms
[streekt-lee, stree-kid-lee] /ˈstrikt li, ˈstri kɪd li/ (Show IPA),
streakedness, noun
streaker, noun
streaklike, adjective
interstreak, verb (used with object)
unstreaked, adjective
3. cast, touch, element, trace. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for streak
  • These acrobats stir up a pair of scarlet macaws that fly off in a red streak to a quieter tree.
  • The loser's brain presents a different pattern-that he's due for a winning streak.
  • Light caramel and fresh apple flavors with a good streak of crispness.
  • Now the question is how the company can continue its winning streak under new leadership.
  • There is no doubt that the character of our society has long been influenced by a streak of individualism.
  • His approach to the press has often been fierce, and he has a nasty streak.
  • Individuals who migrate to the sea lose their distinctive pink streak for a silver look.
  • With a pastry brush, quickly and lightly streak filo sheet with butter.
  • But his independent streak got him into trouble as well.
  • Most foreign investors will be able to live with this policy, despite its streak of xenophobia.
British Dictionary definitions for streak


a long thin mark, stripe, or trace of some contrasting colour
  1. (of lightning) a sudden flash
  2. (as modifier): streak lightning
an element or trace, as of some quality or characteristic
a strip, vein, or layer: fatty streaks
a short stretch or run, esp of good or bad luck
(mineralogy) the powdery mark made by a mineral when rubbed on a hard or rough surface: its colour is an important distinguishing characteristic
(bacteriol) the inoculation of a solid culture medium by drawing a wire contaminated with the microorganisms across it
(informal) an act or the practice of running naked through a public place
(transitive) to mark or daub with a streak or streaks
(intransitive) to form streaks or become streaked
(intransitive) to move rapidly in a straight line
(intransitive) (informal) to run naked through a crowd of people in a public place in order to shock or amuse them
Derived Forms
streaked, adjective
streaker, noun
streaklike, adjective
Word Origin
Old English strica, related to Old Frisian strike, Old High German strih, Norwegian, Swedish strika


a variant spelling of strake (sense 2)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for streak

Old English strica "line of motion, stroke of a pen" (related to strican "pass over lightly," see strike), from Proto-Germanic *strikon (cf. Middle Low German streke "stroke, line," Old High German, German strich, Gothic striks "stroke, line"), from PIE root *streig- (see strigil). Sense of "long, thin mark" is first found 1567. Meaning "a temporary run (of luck)" is from 1843.


1768, "to go quickly, to rush, run at full speed," respelling (by association with streak (n.)) of streek "to go quickly" (late 14c.), originally "to stretch oneself" (mid-13c.), a northern Middle English variant of stretch (v.). Streaking "running naked in public" first recorded 1973.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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streak in Medicine

streak (strēk)
A line, stripe, smear, or band differentiated by color or texture from its surroundings.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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streak in Science
  1. The characteristic color of a mineral after it has been ground into a powder. Because the streak of a mineral is not always the same as its natural color, it is a useful tool in mineral identification.

  2. A bacterial culture inoculated by drawing a bacteria-laden needle across the surface of a solid culture medium. Also called streak plate.

  3. Any of various viral diseases of plants characterized by the appearance of discolored stripes on the leaves or stems.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for streak

straw boss

noun phrase
  1. The foreman of a work crew
  2. Any assistant chief or subordinate director

[1894+; said to be fr the arrangement of a threshing crew, where the chief would superintend the grain itself, and the second the straw; perhaps fr Dutch stroodekkerbaas]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with streak
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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