1

strait

adjective \ ˈstrāt \

Definition of strait

1 archaic : strict, rigorous
2 archaic
a : narrow
b : limited in space or time
c : closely fitting : constricted, tight
3 a : causing distress : difficult
b : limited as to means or resources

straitly

adverb

straitness

noun

Recent Examples of strait from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'strait.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of strait

Middle English, from Anglo-French estreit, from Latin strictus strait, strict, from past participle of stringere


2

strait

adverb

Definition of strait

obsolete
: in a close or tight manner

First Known Use of strait

13th century


3

strait

noun

Definition of strait

1 a archaic : a narrow space or passage
b : a comparatively narrow passageway connecting two large bodies of water often used in plural but singular in construction
c : isthmus
2 : a situation of perplexity or distress often used in plural
  • in dire straits

Examples of strait in a Sentence

  1. Her campaign is in desperate straits.

  2. The company is in desperate financial straits.

  3. The economy is in dire straits.

Recent Examples of strait from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'strait.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of strait

14th century

Synonym Discussion of strait

juncture, exigency, emergency, contingency, pinch, strait (or straits) crisis mean a critical or crucial time or state of affairs. juncture stresses the significant concurrence or convergence of events.
    • an important juncture in our country's history
exigency stresses the pressure of restrictions or urgency of demands created by a special situation.
    • provide for exigencies
emergency applies to a sudden unforeseen situation requiring prompt action to avoid disaster.
    • the presence of mind needed to deal with emergencies
contingency implies an emergency or exigency that is regarded as possible but uncertain of occurrence.
    • contingency plans
pinch implies urgency or pressure for action to a less intense degree than exigency or emergency.
    • come through in a pinch
strait, now commonly straits, applies to a troublesome situation from which escape is extremely difficult.
    • in dire straits
crisis applies to a juncture whose outcome will make a decisive difference.
    • a crisis of confidence

Other Oceanography Terms



STRAIT Defined for English Language Learners

strait

noun

Definition of strait for English Language Learners

  • : a narrow passage of water that connects two large bodies of water

  • straits : a very difficult situation


STRAIT Defined for Kids

strait

noun \ ˈstrāt \

Definition of strait for Students

1 : a narrow channel connecting two bodies of water
2 : a situation of difficulty or distress often used in pl.
  • The lost hikers were in dire straits.


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to remove or wipe out

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!