Meaning of straw man

straw' man'

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. a mass of straw formed to resemble a man, as for a doll or scarecrow.
  2. a person whose importance or function is only nominal, as to cover another's activities; front.
  3. a fabricated or conveniently weak or innocuous person, object, matter, etc., used as a seeming adversary or argument: The issue she railed about was no more than a straw man.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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