Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

stringent

play
adjective strin·gent \ˈstrin-jənt\

Simple Definition of stringent

  • : very strict or severe

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of stringent

  1. 1 :  tight, constricted

  2. 2 :  marked by rigor, strictness, or severity especially with regard to rule or standard <stringent decontamination procedures>

  3. 3 :  marked by money scarcity and credit strictness <a stringent budget>

stringently

adverb

Examples of stringent in a sentence

  1. <stringent rules against unauthorized persons being in the building>

  2. “You’d need top grades for that,” said professor McGonagall, extracting a small, dark leaflet from under the mass on her desk and opening it. “They ask for a minimum of five N.E.W.T.s, and nothing under ‘Exceeds Expectations’ grade, I see. Then you would be required to undergo a stringent series of character and aptitude tests at the Auror office. It’s a difficult career path, Potter; they only take the best. In fact, I don’t think anybody has been taken on in the last three years.” —“Career Advice” P. 662, HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, J. K. Rowling, Scholastic Press, Scholastic Inc., ©2003

  3. Waugh was by then an established novelist, known for such stringent satires as Vile Bodies, Black Mischief, and his other work of the 1930s, and for Brideshead Revisited—all of which are far better known in the United States than Sword of Honour, his masterpiece. —"Books & Critics" P. 128, Penelope Lively, THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY Vol. 287 No. 2, February 2001

  4. Throughout Canada and the United States, a beneficiary who is convicted in a criminal court proceeding of intentionally murdering the insured is disqualified from receiving life insurance policy proceeds. In many states and throughout Canada, a beneficiary who is convicted of a lesser offense––such as manslaughter––is also disqualified from receiving policy proceeds. Laws in Quebec are even more stringent; a beneficiary who attempts to kills the insured––even if that attempt is unsuccessful––is prohibited from receiving life insurance policy proceeds. —"Chapter Fourteen" P. 276, PRINCIPLES OF INSURANCE: LIFE, HEALTH, AND ANNUITIES, Harriett E. Jones, JD, FLMI, ACS et al., LOMA 1996

  5. Ellison argued in his essay “What America Would Be Like Without Blacks” that blacks, constitutive of Americanness rather than candidates for it, are the moral center of America’s complex hybrid culture. They push democratic culture toward fruition, with the most obvious test being “the inclusion—not assimilation—of the black man.” America “could not survive being deprived of their presence because, by the irony implicit in the dynamics of American democracy, they symbolize both its most stringent testing and the possibility of its greatest human freedom,” he wrote. Toni Morrison’s best-selling book of essays, Playing in the Dark, can be read as an extended meditation on Ellison’s belief in the centrality of African-Americans for American literature. “The presence of black people is inherent, along with gender and family ties, in the earliest lesson every child is taught regarding his or her distinctiveness,” she writes. “Africanism is inextricable from the definition of Americanness.” Ellison wrote, “Whatever else the true American is, he is also somehow black.” —“The New Intellectuals” P. 67, Robert S. Boynton, THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY Vol. 275 No. 3, March 1995



Did You Know?

Words that are synonymous with stringent include rigid, which implies uncompromising inflexibility ("rigid rules of conduct"), and rigorous, which suggests hardship and difficulty ("the rigorous training of firefighters"). Also closely related is strict, which emphasizes undeviating conformity to rules, standards, or requirements ("strict enforcement of the law"). Stringent usually involves severe, tight restrictions or limitations ("the college has stringent admissions rules"). That's logical. After all, rigorous and rigid are both derived from rigēre, the Latin word meaning "to be stiff," and stringent and strict developed from the Latin verb stringere, meaning "to bind tight."

Origin and Etymology of stringent

Latin stringent-, stringens, present participle of stringere


First Known Use: 1736

Synonym Discussion of stringent

rigid, rigorous, strict, stringent mean extremely severe or stern. rigid implies uncompromising inflexibility <rigid rules of conduct>. rigorous implies the imposition of hardship and difficulty <the rigorous training of recruits>. strict emphasizes undeviating conformity to rules, standards, or requirements <strict enforcement of the law>. stringent suggests severe, tight restriction or limitation <stringent standards of admission>.


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up stringent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

prophetic or oracular

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

confounded-person

Which is a synonym of indolent?

philistine melancholy frenetic lazy
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ