strin·​gent ˈstrin-jənt How to pronounce stringent (audio)
: marked by rigor, strictness, or severity especially with regard to rule or standard
stringent decontamination procedures
: marked by money scarcity and credit strictness
a stringent budget
stringently adverb

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How Should You Use stringent?

Words that are synonymous with stringent include rigid, which implies uncompromising inflexibility ("rigid rules of conduct"), and rigorous, which suggests hardship and difficulty ("the rigorous training of firefighters"). Also closely related is strict, which emphasizes undeviating conformity to rules, standards, or requirements ("strict enforcement of the law"). Stringent usually involves severe, tight restrictions or limitations ("the college has stringent admissions rules"). That's logical. After all, rigorous and rigid are both derived from rigēre, the Latin word meaning "to be stiff," and stringent and strict developed from the Latin verb stringere, meaning "to bind tight."

Choose the Right Synonym for stringent

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 stringent in a Sentence

stringent rules against unauthorized persons being in the building
Recent Examples on the Web In a new briefing, attorneys at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom outline why new stringent EU disclosure rules on ESG topics might lead to a trail of lawsuits on this side of the Atlantic. Lila MacLellan, Fortune, 26 Sep. 2023 More stringent rules for Chinese companies looking to list outside mainland China, as well as Mr. Xi’s tightening grip on private businesses in China, have dampened optimism. Alexandra Stevenson, New York Times, 21 Sep. 2023 Each mouthwatering gummy includes 50mg of our premium Delta 8 ingredient, which has undergone stringent purity and effectiveness testing. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 3 Sep. 2023 Southern California air regulators voted unanimously Friday to adopt more stringent rules to monitor and curb smog-forming pollution from fuel storage tanks at oil refineries and other facilities. Tony Briscoe, Los Angeles Times, 2 Sep. 2023 Roberts has opposed congressional efforts to impose more stringent rules. Ann E. Marimow, Anchorage Daily News, 31 Aug. 2023 Major said a more stringent process was required for entering private property. Joseph D. Bryant |, al, 28 Aug. 2023 When the central government started to implement more stringent regulations to curb speculation and control prices, the market predictably cooled – and has kept cooling. Zhiyong Yang, The Conversation, 13 Sep. 2023 The rules guiding the hundreds of cult devotees were both liberating and stringent. Hannah E. Meyers, National Review, 10 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'stringent.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin stringent-, stringens, present participle of stringere

First Known Use

1736, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of stringent was in 1736


Dictionary Entries Near stringent

Cite this Entry

“Stringent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


strin·​gent ˈstrin-jənt How to pronounce stringent (audio)
: tying, drawing, or pressing tight
: strict in setting standards or following rules
stringent training
stringently adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on stringent

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