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noun, verb (used with object)
  1. straitjacket.


or straight·jack·et

  1. a garment made of strong material and designed to bind the arms, as of a violently disoriented person.
  2. anything that severely confines, constricts, or hinders: Conventional attitudes can be a straitjacket, preventing original thinking.
verb (used with object) Also strait-jack·et.
  1. to put in or as in a straitjacket: Her ambition was straitjacketed by her family.

Origin of straitjacket

First recorded in 1805–15; strait + jacket
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for straightjacket

Historical Examples

  • I always scheduled her last, so that I could exceed the 45 minutes straightjacket of the classic therapy session.

    The Capgras Shift

    Sam Vaknin

  • We must try to prevent further violence and the doctor has sent to the hospital for a straightjacket.

  • She must put the straightjacket on the patient when I have talked to him and given the order!

British Dictionary definitions for straightjacket


  1. a less common spelling of straitjacket


  1. Also called: straightjacket a jacket made of strong canvas material with long sleeves for binding the arms of violent prisoners or mentally ill patients
  2. a severe restriction or limitation
  1. (tr) to confine in or as if in a straitjacket
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

straightjacket in Medicine


  1. A long-sleeved jacketlike garment used to bind the arms tightly against the body as a means of restraining a violent person.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.