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or straightjacket

[streyt-jak-it] /ˈstreɪtˌdʒæk ɪt/
a garment made of strong material and designed to bind the arms, as of a violently disoriented person.
anything that severely confines, constricts, or hinders:
Conventional attitudes can be a straitjacket, preventing original thinking.
verb (used with object), Also, strait-jacket
to put in or as in a straitjacket:
Her ambition was straitjacketed by her family.
Origin of straitjacket
1805-15; strait + jacket Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for strait-jacket
Historical Examples
  • So you put us in a strait-jacket,” I said, laughing, “because you have to put your whole nation in a strait-jacket.

    Meccania Owen Gregory
  • In a strait-jacket, he swung to the mad rockings of the gales.

    Moby Dick; or The Whale Herman Melville
  • It would, perhaps, be advisable to put him in a strait-jacket!

    The Honor of the Name Emile Gaboriau
  • For them, in all countries, something of a strait-jacket is needed surely.

    Meccania Owen Gregory
  • Dr. Harlowe threatened to put me in a strait-jacket and send me to a lunatic asylum, if I did not behave better in future.

    Ernest Linwood Caroline Lee Hentz
  • The tree is as much one tree as if it grew in a strait-jacket.

    The home Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • A strait-jacket, indeed, is not a camisole, just as electrocution is not hanging.

    A Mind That Found Itself Clifford Whittingham Beers
  • That went on for a week; every night in the strait-jacket, every morning the pump.

    Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist Alexander Berkman
  • The poor man looked as miserable as if put in a strait-jacket, but tried to literally obey instructions.

  • Every night he is placed in a strait-jacket, and gagged to stifle his groans.

    Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist Alexander Berkman
British Dictionary definitions for strait-jacket


Also called straightjacket. a jacket made of strong canvas material with long sleeves for binding the arms of violent prisoners or mentally ill patients
a severe restriction or limitation
(transitive) 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
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Word Origin and History for strait-jacket

also straitjacket, 1814, from strait + jacket; earlier in same sense was strait-waistcoat (1753).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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strait-jacket in Medicine

straitjacket strait·jack·et or straight·jack·et (strāt'jāk'ĭt)
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.
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