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[streyt-n] /ˈstreɪt n/
verb (used with object)
to put into difficulties, especially financial ones:
His obligations had straitened him.
to restrict in range, extent, amount, pecuniary means, etc:
Poverty straitens one's way of living.
  1. to make narrow.
  2. to confine within narrow limits.
Origin of straiten
1515-25; strait + -en1
Related forms
unstraitened, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for straitened
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Their straitened circumstances—an honorable poverty—had been a burden light, indeed, to bear.

  • We will not weary you by writing how straitened we have been.

    The Formation of Christendom, Volume VI Thomas W. (Thomas William) Allies
  • I found her lonely and dejected; her husband had no post, and they were living in straitened circumstances.

    The Memoirs of Madame Vige Lebrun Marie Louise Elisabeth Vige-Lebrun
  • A straitened existence, sweet in spite of everything, now began for them.

    Doctor Pascal Emile Zola
  • I understand Mrs Irving is not a churchwoman, and she may be in real need, as the family is in straitened circumstances.

    An Ambitious Man Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  • How would it sound, "I have an immersion to be immersed with, and how am I straitened?"

    Bertha and Her Baptism Nehemiah Adams
  • Yet she felt that she must not yield, she must go on leading her straitened, humdrum life.

    Jennie Gerhardt Theodore Dreiser
  • Neglected and idle, he did not grumble; straitened and poor, he did not mope.

  • April found them straitened for provisions, and not an Indian could be seen.

    The Lily and the Totem William Gilmore Simms
British Dictionary definitions for straitened


(transitive; usually passive) to embarrass or distress, esp financially
(transitive) to limit, confine, or restrict
(archaic) to make or become narrow
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
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Word Origin and History for straitened

c.1600, "too narrow;" 1716, "reduced to hardship;" see strait (n.). Phrase straitened circumstances recorded from 1766.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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