Definition of straw man in US English:

straw man

noun

  • 1An intentionally misrepresented proposition that is set up because it is easier to defeat than an opponent's real argument.

    ‘her familiar procedure of creating a straw man by exaggerating their approach’
    as modifier ‘you are constructing a straw man argument’
    • ‘The problem with this formulation is that it creates a straw man to knock over with regard to the theories of the symbol.’
    • ‘Mr Tyler's review does serve one good purpose: it is an excellent example of the straw man fallacy.’
    • ‘Since you probably disagree with the straw man argument anyway, offer to help your opponent refute it.’
    • ‘When your opponent sets up a straw man, set it on fire and kick the cinders around the stage.’
    • ‘Moreover, the charge that people are denying what Orsekes defines as the consensus appears to be a straw man.’
    • ‘Thus the user of the straw man fallacy exposes their own tendency to incorrectly categorize their opponent.’
    • ‘After reviewing the following examples, you can test your ability to identify straw man with student examples.’
    • ‘The example is a straw man.’
    • ‘In actual fact, the entire article was a straw man exercise.’
    • ‘Some claimed that I was attacking a strawman, because he never said that the government would benefit from the plan, only that the individual workers would.’
  • 2A person regarded as having no substance or integrity.

    ‘a photogenic straw man gets inserted into office and advisers dictate policy’
    • ‘Personally I don't think he has any claws and is a straw man.’
    • ‘He is often considered a dolt and straw man, an unequal contestant in a battle of wits.’
    • ‘The author sets up the policeman as a dim-witted, macho, homophobic straw man so that the smartass, feminist activist can win every argument against him.’
    • ‘Fortunately, he is just a straw man for others who have sufficient control of his actions and see to it that he does nothing without their supervision.’
    • ‘Elected politicians are straw men yanked about into ever-more preposterous postures.’
    • ‘It's just a straw man design at this point.’
    • ‘All the 'straw man' characters typically depicted in such debates are present here.’
    • ‘He is a jerk, but a straw man as a character.’
    • ‘He is just a straw man for people with money.’
    • ‘He has been put up to the application by someone else and is only a straw man.’

Pronunciation

straw man

/ˌstrô ˈman/