straw man


Definitions (4)

1.Outline or draft copy circulated for comments or suggestions.
2.Third-party set up to serve as a cover (to conceal the identity of the actual party) in accomplishing a shady deal or something not legally permitted.
3.Alternative term for nominee director.
4.Flawed or weak person of no consequence or standing. Also called man of straw. See also judgment proof.

Use straw man in a sentence

  • Kevin's boss was being incredibly secretive about the parties involved in the lawsuit, so it was no surprise that the papers sent to Kevin for review were straw man documents and not the real thing.

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  • I realized my mother was using a straw man argument because she was attacking a misrepresented version of my argument.

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  • Straw man arguments often arise in public debates such as a (hypothetical) prohibition debate: A: We should relax the laws on beer. B: No, any society with unrestricted access to intoxicants loses its work ethic and goes only for immediate gratification. The proposal was to relax laws on beer. Person B has exaggerated this to a position that is harder to defend, i.e., "unrestricted access to intoxicants". It is a logical fallacy because Person A never made that claim. In a 1977 appeal of a U.S. bank robbery conviction, a prosecuting attorney said in his closing argument[11] I submit to you that if you can't take this evidence and find these defendants guilty on this evidence then we might as well open all the banks and say, "Come on and get the money, boys", because we'll never be able to convict them.

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