streak [streak streaks streaked streaking] noun, verb BrE [striːk]
NAmE [striːk]
1. a long thin mark or line that is a different colour from the surface it is on
There was a streak of blood on his face.
streaks of grey in her hair
dirty streaks on the window
streaks of sunlight
2. a part of a person's character, especially an unpleasant part
a ruthless/vicious/mean streak
a streak of cruelty
3. a series of successes or failures, especially in a sport or in gambling
a streak of good luck
to hit (= have) a winning streak
to be on a winning/losing streak
a lucky/unlucky streak
Word 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.
stain fingerprint streak speck blot smear spot
These are all words for a small area of dirt or another substance on a surface.
mark • a small area of dirt or other substance on the surface of sth, especially one that spoils its appearance: The kids left dirty marks all over the kitchen floor.
stain • a dirty mark on sth that is difficult to remove, especially one made by a liquid: blood stains
fingerprint • a mark on a surface made by the pattern of lines on the end of a person's finger, often used by the police to identify criminals: Her fingerprints were all over the gun.
streak • a long thin mark or line that is a different colour from the surface it is on: She had streaks of grey in her hair.
speck • a very small mark, spot or piece of a substance on sth: There isn't a speck of dust anywhere in the house.
blot • a spot or dirty mark left on sth by a substance such as ink or paint being dropped on a surface
smear • a mark made by sth such as oil or paint being spread or rubbed on a surface
spot • a small dirty mark on sth: There were grease spots all over the walls.
a streak/speck/blot/smear/spot of sth
a greasy mark/stain/smear
a/an ink mark/stain/blot/spot
a/an grease mark/stain/spot
to leave a mark/stain/fingerprint/streak/speck/blot/smear
Example Bank:
Holidays in the Australian outback are for those with an adventurous streak.
Most of the players have a strong competitive streak.
She had a few streaks of grey in her black hair.
She suddenly revealed a mean streak in her character.
The Yankees continued their six-game winning streak.
The last streaks of light faded from the sky.
The team has been on a winning streak since it won against Lazio.
There was a streak of eccentricity in the family.
There were dark streaks down her cheeks where she had been crying.
trips for those with an adventurous streak
She had streaks of grey in her hair.
The sooty rain left dirty streaks on the window.
1. transitive to mark or cover sth with streaks
~ sth Tears streaked her face.
She's had her hair streaked (= had special chemicals put on her hair so that it has attractive coloured lines in it).
~ sth with sth His face was streaked with mud.
The sunset streaked the sky with brilliant colours.
2. intransitive + adv./prep. to move very fast in a particular direction
Syn: speed
A car pulled out and streaked off down the road.
She streaked home in under 54 seconds.
3. intransitive (+ adv./prep.) (informal) to run through a public place with no clothes on as a way of getting attention
Verb forms:
Word 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.
Example Bank:
A police car streaked by, lights flashing.
Some kind of animal leaped out of the grass and streaked across the meadow.

WordNet Dictionary:
1. a distinctive characteristic
- he has a stubborn streak
- a streak of wildness
2. a narrow marking of a different color or texture from the background
- a green toad with small black stripes or bars
- may the Stars and Stripes forever wave
Syn: stripe, bar
3. an unbroken series of events
- had a streak of bad luck
- Nicklaus had a run of birdies
Syn: run
4. a sudden flash (as of lightning)
1. move quickly in a straight line
- The plane streaked across the sky
2. run naked in a public place

Webster's 1913 Dictionary:
v. t.1.To stretch; to extend; hence, to lay out, as a dead body.
n.1.A line or long mark of a different color from the ground; a stripe; a vein.
What mean those colored streaks in heaven?
2.(Shipbuilding) A strake.
3.(Min.) The fine powder or mark yielded by a mineral when scratched or rubbed against a harder surface, the color of which is sometimes a distinguishing character.
4.The rung or round of a ladder.
v. t.1.To form streaks or stripes in or on; to stripe; to variegate with lines of a different color, or of different colors.
[imp. & p. p. Streaked ; p. pr. & vb. n. Streaking.]
A mule . . . streaked and dappled with white and black.
Now streaked and glowing with the morning red.
2.With it as an object: To run swiftly.

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