When you straddle something, you're sitting on it with one leg on each side — like straddling a horse or a fence.

Unless you're using an old-fashioned side-saddle, you straddle a horse when you ride it. Gymnasts learn how to straddle the parallel bars, basically doing the splits on them. But if someone says you're "straddling the fence," it means you're doing a different kind of split: you're not taking a side and refusing to commit. In finance, straddling means you want to leave your options open to buy or sell.

Definitions of straddle

v sit or stand astride of

Type of:
occupy a certain position or area; be somewhere

v range or extend over; occupy a certain area

“The plants straddle the entire state”
stretch over
Type of:
be, comprise, constitute, make up, represent
form or compose

v be noncommittal

n the act of sitting or standing astride

Type of:
motility, motion, move, movement
a change of position that does not entail a change of location

n a gymnastic exercise performed with a leg on either side of the parallel bars

Type of:
gymnastic exercise
(gymnastics) an exercise designed to develop and display strength and agility and balance (usually performed with or on some gymnastic apparatus)

n a noncommittal or equivocal position

Type of:
perspective, position, view
a way of regarding situations or topics etc.

n the option to buy or sell a given stock (or stock index or commodity future) at a given price before a given date; consists of an equal number of put and call options

Type of:
the right to buy or sell property at an agreed price; the right is purchased and if it is not exercised by a stated date the money is forfeited

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.