See more synonyms for straight-laced on
Related formsstraight-lac·ed·ly [streyt-ley-sid-lee, -leyst-lee] /ˈstreɪtˈleɪ sɪd li, -ˈleɪst li/, adverbstraight-lac·ed·ness, noun


or straight-laced

  1. excessively strict in conduct or morality; puritanical; prudish: strait-laced censors.
  2. tightly laced, as a bodice.
  3. wearing tightly laced garments.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for straight-laced

Contemporary Examples of straight-laced

  • Thwarted by straight-laced parents, vivacious Flo eventually eloped to Philly with a doctor and then divorced.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Dead Cool: Florence Foster Jenkins

    Simon Doonan

    July 10, 2010

  • William Parker is a straight-laced cop with dreams of ridding L.A of its crime and endemic corruption.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Daily Beast Recommends

    The Daily Beast

    August 25, 2009

  • One of my students started senior year straight-laced and dreaming of studying engineering at Georgia Tech.

    The Daily Beast logo
    How Colleges Dupe Students

    Kathleen Kingsbury

    June 14, 2009

Historical Examples of straight-laced

  • In fact, he was so merry that, by the straight-laced Puritans, he was thought ungodly.

    The Witch of Salem

    John R. Musick

  • Goodness, you can't afford to be as straight-laced as all that, in this town.

    Cape of Storms

    Percival Pollard

  • But Christopher Wellwyn's heart is too full of humanity to admit of such a straight-laced attitude.

  • One that has been discovered very recently is that the straight-faced are the straight-laced.

    How to Analyze People on Sight

    Elsie Lincoln Benedict and Ralph Paine Benedict

  • The North American, beneath his cold and straight-laced appearance, conceals a warm and enthusiastic heart.

    The Gold-Seekers

    Gustave Aimard

British Dictionary definitions for straight-laced


  1. a variant spelling of strait-laced



  1. 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

Word Origin and History for straight-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