plural of strait

Synonym Chooser

How does the noun straits differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of straits are contingency, crisis, emergency, exigency, juncture, pinch, and strait. While all these words mean "a critical or crucial time or state of affairs," strait, now commonly straits, applies to a troublesome situation from which escape is extremely difficult.

in dire straits

When is contingency a more appropriate choice than straits?

The synonyms contingency and straits are sometimes interchangeable, but contingency implies an emergency or exigency that is regarded as possible but uncertain of occurrence.

contingency plans

In what contexts can crisis take the place of straits?

The meanings of crisis and straits largely overlap; however, crisis applies to a juncture whose outcome will make a decisive difference.

a crisis of confidence

When is it sensible to use emergency instead of straits?

In some situations, the words emergency and straits are roughly equivalent. However, emergency applies to a sudden unforeseen situation requiring prompt action to avoid disaster.

the presence of mind needed to deal with emergencies

When might exigency be a better fit than straits?

While in some cases nearly identical to straits, exigency stresses the pressure of restrictions or urgency of demands created by a special situation.

provide for exigencies

When can juncture be used instead of straits?

Although the words juncture and straits have much in common, juncture stresses the significant concurrence or convergence of events.

an important juncture in our country's history

How is pinch related to other words for straits?

Pinch implies urgency or pressure for action to a less intense degree than exigency or emergency.

come through in a pinch

Thesaurus Entries Near straits

Cite this Entry

“Straits.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on straits

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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