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strait-laced

or straight-laced

[streyt-leyst]
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adjective
  1. excessively strict in conduct or morality; puritanical; prudish: strait-laced censors.
  2. tightly laced, as a bodice.
  3. wearing tightly laced garments.
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Origin of strait-laced

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50
Related formsstrait-lac·ed·ly [streyt-ley-sid-lee, -leyst-lee] /ˈstreɪtˈleɪ sɪd li, -ˈleɪst li/, adverbstrait-lac·ed·ness, noun

strait-lace

[streyt-leys]
verb (used with object), strait-laced, strait-lac·ing.
  1. to bind, confine, or restrain with or as if with laces.
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Origin of strait-lace

First recorded in 1630–40; back formation from strait-laced
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for strait-laced

strait-laced

straight-laced

adjective
  1. prudish or puritanical
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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

Word Origin and History for strait-laced

adj.

1540s, of stays or bodices; figurative sense of "over-precise, prudish" is from 1550s; see strait (n.) + lace (v.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper