- 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.
- narrow: Strait is the gate.
- affording little space; confined in area.
- strict, as in requirements or principles.
Origin of strait
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for straitly
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
You were ready enough to do so, and the two old men charged you much and straitly.The Iliad
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
- (often plural)
- a narrow channel of the sea linking two larger areas of sea
- (capital as part of a name)the Strait of Gibraltar
- (often plural) a position of acute difficulty (often in the phrase in dire or desperate straits)
- archaic a narrow place or passage
- (of spaces, etc) affording little room
- (of circumstances, etc) limiting or difficult
- severe, strict, or scrupulous
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)).
- A narrow passage, such as the upper or lower opening of the pelvic canal.
- A narrow waterway joining two larger bodies of water. The Strait of Gibraltar, for example, connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Atlantic Ocean.