follow Dictionary.com

Today's Word of the Day means...

strait

[streyt] /streɪt/
noun
1.
Often, straits. (used with a singular verb) a narrow passage of water connecting two large bodies of water.
2.
Often, straits. a position of difficulty, distress, or need:
Ill and penniless, he was in sad straits indeed.
3.
Archaic. a narrow passage or area.
4.
an isthmus.
adjective, Archaic.
5.
narrow:
Strait is the gate.
6.
affording little space; confined in area.
7.
strict, as in requirements or principles.
Origin
1150-1200
1150-1200; Middle English streit < Old French estreit < Latin strictus past participle of stringere to bind; see strain1
Related forms
straitly, adverb
straitness, noun
Can be confused
straight, strait.
Synonyms
2. exigency, pinch, dilemma, predicament, plight. See emergency.
Antonyms
2. ease.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for strait
  • We tried to give a proof-of-concept based on existing technologies, not a strait jacket.
  • If you take melatonin under the tongue, it goes strait to the blood stream.
  • In such a strait the wisest may well be perplexed, and the boldest staggered.
  • Neither patrolman or bosses, are able to give you a strait answer as to what is wrong with the department.
British Dictionary definitions for strait

strait

/streɪt/
noun
1.
(often pl)
  1. a narrow channel of the sea linking two larger areas of sea
  2. (capital as part of a name) the Strait of Gibraltar
2.
(often pl) a position of acute difficulty (often in the phrase in dire or desperate straits)
3.
(archaic) a narrow place or passage
adjective (archaic)
4.
(of spaces, etc) affording little room
5.
(of circumstances, etc) limiting or difficult
6.
severe, strict, or scrupulous
Derived Forms
straitly, adverb
straitness, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French estreit narrow, from Latin strictus constricted, from stringere to bind tightly
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for strait
strait
mid-14c., "narrow, confined space or place," specifically of bodies of water from late 14c., noun use of adj. strait "narrow, strict" (late 13c.), from O.Fr. estreit (Fr. étroit) "tight, close, narrow" (also used as a noun), from L. strictus, pp. of stringere "bind or draw tight" (see strain (v.)). Sense of "difficulty, plight" (usually straits) first recorded 1540s. Strait and narrow "conventional way of life" is recorded from mid-14c. (see straight (adj.2)). Strait-laced is 1540s, of stays or bodices; figurative sense of "over-precise, prudish" is from 1550s. Strait-jacket is attested from 1814, earlier strait-waistcoat (1753).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
strait in Medicine

strait (strāt)
n.
A narrow passage, such as the upper or lower opening of the pelvic canal.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
strait in Science
strait
  (strāt)   
A narrow waterway joining two larger bodies of water. The Strait of Gibraltar, for example, connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Atlantic Ocean.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for strait

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for strait

6
6
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with strait