or straight·jack·et



a garment made of strong material and designed to bind the arms, as of a violently disoriented person.
anything that severely confines, constricts, or hinders: Conventional attitudes can be a straitjacket, preventing original thinking.

verb (used with object) Also strait-jack·et.

to put in or as in a straitjacket: Her ambition was straitjacketed by her family.

Origin of straitjacket

First recorded in 1805–15; strait + jacket Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for strait-jacket

Historical Examples of strait-jacket

  • Why in the world it should make you behave as if you needed a strait-jacket I can't see.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • In a strait-jacket, he swung to the mad rockings of the gales.

  • To be sure they spoke of confining me in a strait-jacket—but, good God!

  • What if they should put a strait-jacket about the chest to restrain the stature?

    A Man's Value to Society

    Newell Dwight Hillis

  • It would, perhaps, be advisable to put him in a strait-jacket!

    The Honor of the Name

    Emile Gaboriau

British Dictionary definitions for strait-jacket



Also called: straightjacket a jacket made of strong canvas material with long sleeves for binding the arms of violent prisoners or mentally ill patients
a severe restriction or limitation


(tr) to confine in or as if in a straitjacket
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-jacket

also straitjacket, 1814, from strait + jacket; earlier in same sense was strait-waistcoat (1753).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

strait-jacket in Medicine



A long-sleeved jacketlike garment used to bind the arms tightly against the body as a means of restraining a violent person.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.