adjective \ ˈstrikt \
Updated on: 7 Mar 2018

Definition of strict

1 a : stringent in requirement or control
  • under strict orders
b : severe in discipline
  • a strict teacher
2 a : inflexibly maintained or adhered to
  • strict secrecy
b : rigorously conforming to principle or a norm or condition
3 : exact, precise
  • in the strict sense of the word
4 : of narrow erect habit of growth
  • a strict inflorescence
5 archaic
a : tight, close; also : intimate
b : narrow


play \ˈstrik(t)-lē\ adverb


play \ˈstrik(t)-nəs\ noun

Examples of strict in a Sentence

  1. Her parents aren't very strict.

  2. He insists on strict adherence to the rules.

Recent Examples of strict from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of strict

Middle English stricte, from Latin strictus, from past participle of stringere to bind tight — more at strain

Synonym Discussion of strict

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

STRICT Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of strict for English Language Learners

  • —used to describe a command, rule, etc., that must be obeyed

  • : demanding that people obey rules or behave in a certain way

  • : carefully obeying the rules or principles of a religion or a particular way of life

STRICT Defined for Kids


adjective \ ˈstrikt \

Definition of strict for Students

stricter; strictest
1 : not to be avoided or ignored : requiring obedience
  • strict orders
2 : strongly enforcing rules and discipline
  • a strict coach
3 : kept with great care : absolute
  • strict secrecy
4 : carefully observing something (as a rule or principle)
  • a strict vegetarian
5 : 1exact, precise
  • the strict sense of a word





Law Dictionary



legal Definition of strict

1 : characterized by narrowness : not demonstrating a broad or liberal view
  • strict interpretation
2 a : firm or rigid in requirement or control
b : severe in discipline
3 a : inflexibly maintained or adhered to
b : rigorously conforming to a principle or norm or condition
  • a strict bill of interpleader
4 : not requiring fault — see also strict liability at liability 2b



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up strict? 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!


eerie or mysterious

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice-with-tweedle-dee-and-tweedle-dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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