\ ˈstrikt How to pronounce strict (audio) \

Definition of strict

1a : stringent in requirement or control under strict orders
b : severe in discipline a strict teacher
2a : 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from strict

strictly \ ˈstrik(t)-​lē How to pronounce strictly (audio) \ adverb
strictness \ ˈstrik(t)-​nəs How to pronounce strictness (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of strict in a Sentence

Her parents aren't very strict. He insists on strict adherence to the rules.
Recent Examples on the Web Amar Sinha, the chief operating officer of liquor distributor Radico Khaitan, told Quartz: Marketing liquor in India has always been challenging because of strict advertising regulations. Quartz India, "Amar Sinha on the jobs that will define India’s future," 11 Feb. 2020 Titan, which wanted to market the book in Germany, where laws on Nazi imagery are strict, said Amazon approved the changes. David Streitfeld, New York Times, "In Amazon’s Bookstore, No Second Chances for the Third Reich," 9 Feb. 2020 Britain was far more strict and judicious in setting up democratic institutions—independent of Beijing—in its onetime colony of Hong Kong than Portugal was in Macau, according to analysis by New York University law professor Jerome Cohen. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, "‘Macau has been the good boy:’ Amid protests, China launches a long-shot campaign for a Hong Kong alternative," 20 Jan. 2020 That’s why federal ethics rules regarding favors are generally so strict, prohibiting government employees from accepting all but the most minimal gifts (even modest meals) from contractors and foreign agents. Marcus Hedahl, The Conversation, "A Navy scandal sheds light on the nature of bribery and the limits of free speech," 17 Jan. 2020 But for health applications, the standards are stricter and have precluded the materials scientists have used to turn light into higher-energy light. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Photon-Boosted Lasers Could Carve Out Cancer Like a Scalpel," 3 Dec. 2019 South Carolina is also stricter on its barbers: their school mandates 1,500 hours. Joseph Cranney, ProPublica, "These Judges Can Have Less Training Than Barbers but Still Decide Thousands of Cases Each Year," 27 Nov. 2019 Chemical-exposure safety standards for the public are stricter than those for workers, Morrison says, for two primary reasons. Robin Lloyd, Scientific American, "Health Concerns Mount as More Old Sewer Pipes Are Lined with Plastic," 25 Nov. 2019 But some federal health officials say the standard should be much stricter and states like New Hampshire and Vermont have enacted very restrictive codes for PFAS drinking water pollution. Gregory B. Hladky,, "Task force recommends statewide testing of public water systems after hazardous firefighting foam spill," 4 Nov. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of strict

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 5

History and Etymology for strict

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about strict

Time Traveler for strict

Time Traveler

The first known use of strict was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for strict

Last Updated

20 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Strict.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for strict


How to pronounce strict (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of strict

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


\ ˈstrikt How to pronounce strict (audio) \
stricter; strictest

Kids Definition of strict

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 : exact entry 1, precise the strict sense of a word

Other Words from strict

strictly adverb
strictness noun



Legal Definition of strict

1 : characterized by narrowness : not demonstrating a broad or liberal view strict interpretation
2a : firm or rigid in requirement or control
b : severe in discipline
3a : 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 sense 2b

Other Words from strict

strictly adverb

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on strict

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for strict

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with strict

Spanish Central: Translation of strict

Nglish: Translation of strict for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of strict for Arabic Speakers

Comments on strict

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!