Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[streyt] /streɪt/
Often, straits. (used with a singular verb) a narrow passage of water connecting two large bodies of water.
Often, straits. a position of difficulty, distress, or need:
Ill and penniless, he was in sad straits indeed.
Archaic. a narrow passage or area.
an isthmus.
adjective, Archaic.
Strait is the gate.
affording little space; confined in area.
strict, as in requirements or principles.
Origin of strait
1150-1200; Middle English streit < Old French estreit < Latin strictus past participle of stringere to bind; see strain1
Related forms
straitly, adverb
straitness, noun
Can be confused
straight, strait.
2. exigency, pinch, dilemma, predicament, plight. See emergency.
2. ease. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for straitly
Historical Examples
  • His senses were so straitly tied to his brains that to pluck at one was to thrill the other.

    Little Novels of Italy Maurice Henry Hewlett
  • straitly commanded by the Admirall, At the same Port to settle their aboad.

    The Battaile of Agincourt Michael Drayton
  • You were ready enough to do so, and the two old men charged you much and straitly.

    The Iliad Homer
  • Lay aside this foolish fashion of speech and say straitly what you desire.

    Sir Nigel Arthur Conan Doyle
  • He found the Court gates “straitly guarded,” so that he was not allowed to enter.

    It Might Have Been Emily Sarah Holt
  • Then he went away, leaving me after straitly forbidding me to follow him.

  • He straitly enjoined Charity to tell him, and she as solemnly promised to do so.

    Polly Thomas Nelson Page
  • Tell me, Wanderer, what is it that thou dost seek so straitly?

    Wulnoth the Wanderer Herbert Escott-Inman
  • My life all these years had been bound so straitly and narrowly there at home.

    In a Mysterious Way Anne Warner
  • No law may be kept too straitly and no thread drawn too strictly.

    In the Days of the Guild Louise Lamprey
British Dictionary definitions for straitly


(often pl)
  1. a narrow channel of the sea linking two larger areas of sea
  2. (capital as part of a name): the Strait of Gibraltar
(often pl) a position of acute difficulty (often in the phrase in dire or desperate straits)
(archaic) a narrow place or passage
adjective (archaic)
(of spaces, etc) affording little room
(of circumstances, etc) limiting or difficult
severe, strict, or scrupulous
Derived Forms
straitly, adverb
straitness, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French estreit narrow, from Latin strictus constricted, from stringere to bind tightly
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for straitly



mid-14c., "narrow, confined space or place," specifically of bodies of water from late 14c., noun use of adjective strait "narrow, strict" (late 13c.), from Old French estreit (French étroit) "tight, close, narrow" (also used as a noun), from Latin strictus, past participle of stringere "bind or draw tight" (see strain (v.)).

Sense of "difficulty, plight" (usually straits) first recorded 1540s. Strait and narrow "conventional way of life" is recorded from mid-14c. (see straight (adj.2)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
straitly in Medicine

strait (strāt)
A narrow passage, such as the upper or lower opening of the pelvic canal.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
straitly in Science
A narrow waterway joining two larger bodies of water. The Strait of Gibraltar, for example, connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Atlantic Ocean.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for straitly

Difficulty index for strait

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for straitly

Scrabble Words With Friends