a. Abbr. St. A public way or thoroughfare in a city or town, usually with a sidewalk or sidewalks.
b. Such a public way considered apart from the sidewalks: Don't play in the street.
c. A public way or road along with the houses or buildings abutting it: lives on a quiet street.
2. The people living, working, or habitually gathering in or along a street: The whole street protested the new parking regulations.
3. Street A district, such as Wall Street in New York City, that is identified with a specific profession. Often used with the.
4. The streets of a city viewed as the scene of crime, poverty, or dereliction.
5. The common public viewed as a repository of public attitudes and understanding.
1. Near or giving passage to a street: a street door.
a. Taking place in the street: a street brawl; street crime.
b. Living or making a living on the streets: street people; a street vendor.
c. Performing on the street: street musicians; a street juggler.
d. Crude; vulgar: street language; street humor.
3. Appropriate for wear or use in public: street clothes.
on/in the street
1. Without a job; idle.
2. Without a home; homeless.
3. Out of prison; at liberty.
[Middle English strete, from Old English strǣt, strēt, from Late Latin strāta, paved road, from Latin, feminine past participle of sternere, to stretch, extend, pave; see ster-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.