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90s Slang You Should Know


or straight-laced

[streyt-leyst] /ˈstreɪtˈleɪst/
excessively strict in conduct or morality; puritanical; prudish:
strait-laced censors.
tightly laced, as a bodice.
wearing tightly laced garments.
Origin of strait-laced
late Middle English
late Middle English word dating back to 1400-50
Related forms
[streyt-ley-sid-lee, -leyst-lee] /ˈstreɪtˈleɪ sɪd li, -ˈleɪst li/ (Show IPA),
strait-lacedness, noun


[streyt-leys] /ˈstreɪtˌleɪs/
verb (used with object), strait-laced, strait-lacing.
to bind, confine, or restrain with or as if with laces.
First recorded in 1630-40; back formation from strait-laced Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for strait-laced
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Old Janet Fairbarn's strait-laced ways make him sneak out late at night for his toddy.

    A Fascinating Traitor Richard Henry Savage
  • Some people thought her old fashioned, strait-laced, prudish.

    The Mask Arthur Hornblow
  • Surely the strait-laced nurses would never be guilty of indiscretion, and yet they commit strange blunders.

    Six Women and the Invasion Gabrielle Yerta
  • The ladies were not too strait-laced; dull care was banished.

    The Magnificent Montez Horace Wyndham
  • He was as orthodox a divine as ever lived, but not strait-laced, and he liked children to read fairy tales.

  • In strait-laced ways and to all demure modesty, Eliza was reared.

    Superwomen Albert Payson Terhune
  • Was He a strait-laced, self-righteous Pharisee, too good, too religious to have anything to say to those who disagreed with Him?

    We Two Edna Lyall
  • strait-laced women were even found to say that she had expiated her sins.

    Gobseck Honore de Balzac
  • And the strait-laced old simpleton took and altered his will on the strength of it.

    Verner's Pride Mrs. Henry Wood
British Dictionary definitions for strait-laced


prudish or puritanical
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-laced

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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