strait·​jack·​et | \ ˈstrāt-ˌja-kət How to pronounce straitjacket (audio) \
variants: or less commonly straightjacket

Definition of straitjacket

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a cover or overgarment of strong material (such as canvas) used to bind the body and especially the arms closely in restraining a violent prisoner or patient
2 : something that restricts or confines like a straitjacket


variants: or less commonly straightjacket
straitjacketed also straightjacketed; straitjacketing also straightjacketing; straitjackets also straightjackets

Definition of straitjacket (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to confine in or as if in a straitjacket

Examples of straitjacket in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun According to reports, Jonathan was hanging from his feet 40 feet in the air in a straitjacket. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, 1 Mar. 2022 Clad in a straitjacket, he was sandwiched between two cars suspended 70 feet in the air, which then burst into flames. Glenn Garner,, 21 Feb. 2022 The play didn’t extinguish the Clippers’ attempt to engineer a second consecutive escape out of a straitjacket of their own making. Los Angeles Times, 24 Jan. 2022 But with growth in his country slowing, demand slackening and debt still at near-record levels, Mr. Xi could face some of the biggest economic challenges since Deng Xiaoping began lifting the country out of its Maoist straitjacket four decades ago. New York Times, 16 Jan. 2022 This book presents a rare public tour of the wonders contained there, including Harry Houdini’s straitjacket and Doug Henning’s metamorphosis trunk. Jim Kiest, San Antonio Express-News, 1 Dec. 2021 Zwick is such a conventional filmmaker that DiCaprio chafes trying to break out of the Reluctant Hero straitjacket Zwick puts him in. Tim Grierson, Vulture, 29 Dec. 2021 As constrained as the summer athletes were in Tokyo with the arrive-compete-leave policy that left them little time to roam the city, their winter counterparts will be in a social straitjacket in Beijing., 26 Oct. 2021 He was once suspended in a straitjacket from The Milwaukee Journal building and later gave a free matinee performance of his act for Milwaukee Journal newsboys, the article said. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 19 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Hip-hop from that period often incorporated sampling, a technique that was legally straitjacketed by 1991. Jeremy Gordon, New York Times, 3 May 2020 Trump was not straitjacketed by the laws and customs governing foundations, or by the most basic ethical norms. Steve Chapman,, 13 Nov. 2019 Europe is a tough regulatory landscape for big technology companies, with fines raining down on Google, a hefty back-tax bill for Apple, and the threat of new laws to straitjacket how online platforms handle their customers. Washington Post, 20 Sep. 2019 But this tick somehow fell into a spider web, and the resident spider promptly straitjacketed its arachnid cousin in loops of silk, either to save it as a snack or to immobilize it as a precaution. National Geographic, 25 May 2018 Critics over the years have accused Muti of straitjacketing the music in the name of fidelity to the score, but there was no rigidity of pacing or phrasing here. John Von Rhein,, 22 Aug. 2017 Highlights from previous eras, including the 1980s pinnacle of the Lakers-Celtics rivalry, look shrunken and straitjacketed in comparison. John Branch, New York Times, 25 Oct. 2016 This was long before the Corps of Engineers straitjacketed the once wide and slower-moving river. Darryl Levings, kansascity, 28 Apr. 2017 See More

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

First Known Use of straitjacket


1814, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1863, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of straitjacket was in 1814

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Cite this Entry

“Straitjacket.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for straitjacket


variants: also straightjacket \ ˈstrāt-​ˌjak-​ət How to pronounce straitjacket (audio) \

Medical Definition of straitjacket

: a cover or garment of strong material (as canvas) used to bind the body and especially the arms closely in restraining a violent prisoner or patient

More from Merriam-Webster on straitjacket

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for straitjacket

Nglish: Translation of straitjacket for Spanish Speakers


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