on the street


a public thoroughfare, usually paved, in a village, town, or city, including the sidewalk or sidewalks.
such a thoroughfare together with adjacent buildings, lots, etc.: Houses, lawns, and trees composed a very pleasant street.
the roadway of such a thoroughfare, as distinguished from the sidewalk: to cross a street.
a main way or thoroughfare, as distinguished from a lane, alley, or the like.
the inhabitants or frequenters of a street: The whole street gossiped about the new neighbors.
the Street, Informal.
the section of a city associated with a given profession or trade, especially when concerned with business or finance, as Wall Street.
the principal theater and entertainment district of any of a number of U.S. cities.
of, on, or adjoining a street: a street door just off the sidewalk.
taking place or appearing on the street: street fight; street musicians.
coarse; crude; vulgar: street language.
suitable for everyday wear: street clothes; street dress.
retail: the street price of a new computer; the street value of a drug.
on / in the street,
without a home: You'll be out on the street if the rent isn't paid.
without a job or occupation; idle.
out of prison or police custody; at liberty.
up one's street, British, alley1 ( def 7 ).

before 900; Middle English; Old English strēt, strǣt; cognate with Dutch straat, German Strasse; all ≪ Latin (via) strāta paved (road); see stratum

streetless, adjective
streetlike, adjective
interstreet, adjective

1. roadway, concourse. Street, alley, avenue, boulevard all refer to public ways or roads in municipal areas. A street is a road in a village, town, or city, especially a road lined with buildings. An alley is a narrow street or footway, especially at the rear of or between rows of buildings or lots. An avenue is properly a prominent street, often one bordered by fine residences and impressive buildings, or with a row of trees on each side. A boulevard is a beautiful, broad street, lined with rows of stately trees, especially used as a promenade. In some cities street and avenue are used interchangeably, the only difference being that those running one direction (say, north and south) are given one designation and those crossing them are given the other.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source Link To on the street
World English Dictionary
street (striːt)
1.  a.  (capital when part of a name) a public road that is usually lined with buildings, esp in a town: Oxford Street
 b.  (as modifier): a street directory
2.  the buildings lining a street
3.  the part of the road between the pavements, used by vehicles
4.  the people living, working, etc, in a particular street
5.  (modifier) of or relating to the urban counterculture: street style; street drug
6.  man in the street an ordinary or average citizen
7.  on the streets
 a.  earning a living as a prostitute
 b.  homeless
8.  informal streets ahead of superior to, more advanced than, etc
9.  informal streets apart markedly different
10.  informal up one's street, right up one's street (just) what one knows or likes best
11.  (Austral) to outdistance
[Old English strǣt, from Latin via strāta paved way (strāta, from strātus, past participle of sternere to stretch out); compare Old Frisian strēte, Old High German strāza; see stratus]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

O.E. stret (Mercian), stræt (W.Saxon), early W.Gmc. borrowing from L.L. strata, used elliptically for via strata "paved road," from fem. pp. of L. sternere "lay down, spread out, pave," from PIE *stre-to- "to stretch, extend," from base *stere- "to spread, extend, stretch out" (see
structure). The Latin is also the source of Sp. estrada, O.Fr. estrée, It. strada. Originally of Roman roads (Watling Street, Icknield Street, etc.), later in O.E. it acquired a dialectal sense of "straggling village." "In the Middle Ages, a road or way was merely a direction in which people rode or went, the name street being reserved for the made road." [Weekley] Used since c.1400 to mean "the people in the street;" modern sense of "the realm of the people as the source of political support" dates from 1931. Man in the street "ordinary person, non-expert" is attested from 1831. Street-car is attested from 1862. Street-walker "common prostitute" first recorded 1592. Street people is from 1967; street smarts is from 1972; street-credibility is from 1979.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Bible Dictionary

Street definition

The street called "Straight" at Damascus (Acts 9:11) is "a long broad street, running from east to west, about a mile in length, and forming the principal thoroughfare in the city." In Oriental towns streets are usually narrow and irregular and filthy (Ps. 18:42; Isa. 10:6). "It is remarkable," says Porter, "that all the important cities of Palestine and Syria Samaria, Caesarea, Gerasa, Bozrah, Damascus, Palmyra, had their 'straight streets' running through the centre of the city, and lined with stately rows of columns. The most perfect now remaining are those of Palmyra and Gerasa, where long ranges of the columns still stand.", Through Samaria, etc.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

on the street

Also, in the street.

  1. Without a job, unemployed, as in After they fired her she was on the street for two years. [First half of 1900s]

  2. Without a regular place of residence, homeless, as in It's terrible to be on the street in winter. [Mid-1800s]

  3. Released from prison, as in One more year and he'll be back in the street. [First half of 1900s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2015 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature