Gain access to thousands of additional definitions and advanced search features—ad free! JOIN NOW
: to make strait or narrow
: to hem in : confine
: to restrict in freedom or scope : hamper
: to subject to distress, privation, or deficiency
in straitened circumstances
Recent Examples on the Web
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'straiten.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
circa 1552, in the meaning defined at sense 1a
Keep scrolling for more
Resources for straiten
Time Traveler for straiten
See more words from the same year
More from Merriam-Webster on straiten
See words that rhyme with straiten
Britannica English: Translation of straiten for Arabic Speakers
Comments on straiten
What made you want to look up straiten? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
by force of circumstances
Get Word of the Day daily email!
Difficult Vocab Quiz
Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?
Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.
Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!
Semantic bleaching and the power to amaze
Cans of worms, wild-goose chases, and more
Words from the week of 11/16/2018
This is just to say / Don't confuse them
And is one way more correct than the others?
The story of an imaginary word that managed to sneak past our editors and enter the dictionary.
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
The awkward case of 'his or her'
Another round of challenging vocab!
(Secret October WOTD Quiz)
SCRABBLE® fans, sharpen your skills!