strait·​en | \ ˈstrā-tᵊn How to pronounce straiten (audio) \
straitened; straitening\ ˈstrāt-​niŋ How to pronounce straiten (audio) , ˈstrā-​tᵊn-​iŋ \

Definition of straiten

transitive verb

1a : to make strait or narrow
b : to hem in : confine
2 archaic : to restrict in freedom or scope : hamper
3 : to subject to distress, privation, or deficiency in straitened circumstances

Examples of straiten in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Generally, its decisions tend toward loosening rather than straitening the rules. Mary Norris, The New Yorker, 30 Oct. 2019 Despite the fact that the family's construction firm is relatively prosperous due to its generous share of government contracts, the family's finances are considerably straitened. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, 9 Mar. 2017

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.

First Known Use of straiten

circa 1552, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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The first known use of straiten was circa 1552

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Cite this Entry

“Straiten.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on straiten

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for straiten

Britannica English: Translation of straiten for Arabic Speakers


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