Often, straits. (used with a singular verb) a narrow passage of water connecting two large bodies of water.
Often, straits. a position of difficulty, distress, or need: Ill and penniless, he was in sad straits indeed.
Archaic. a narrow passage or area.
an isthmus.
adjective Archaic.
narrow: Strait is the gate.
affording little space; confined in area.
strict, as in requirements or principles.

1150–1200; Middle English streit < Old French estreit < Latin strictus past participle of stringere to bind; see strain1

straitly, adverb
straitness, noun

straight, strait.

2. exigency, pinch, dilemma, predicament, plight. See emergency.

2. ease. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To strait
World English Dictionary
strait (streɪt)
1.  (often plural)
 a.  a narrow channel of the sea linking two larger areas of sea
 b.  (capital as part of a name): the Strait of Gibraltar
2.  (often plural) a position of acute difficulty (often in the phrase in direordesperate straits)
3.  archaic a narrow place or passage
4.  (of spaces, etc) affording little room
5.  (of circumstances, etc) limiting or difficult
6.  severe, strict, or scrupulous
[C13: from Old French estreit narrow, from Latin strictus constricted, from stringere to bind tightly]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

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
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

strait (strāt)
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
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
strait   (strāt)  Pronunciation Key 
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
Example sentences
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.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature