or straight·jack·et

[ streyt-jak-it ]
See synonyms for straitjacket on
  1. a garment made of strong material and designed to bind the arms, as of a violently disoriented person.

  2. anything that severely confines, constricts, or hinders: Conventional attitudes can be a straitjacket, preventing original thinking.

verb (used with object)Also strait-jacket.
  1. 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. 2023

How to use straitjacket in a sentence

  • We cannot imprison Germany in an economic strait jacket if her territorial neighbors are willing to trade with her.

  • Polly turned to the maid, “Go down and send it away––no, tell the driver to go to the asylum for a strait-jacket.”

    The Cup of Fury | Rupert Hughes
  • I'd as soon talk to a man in a padded cell and a strait-jacket.

    The Firefly Of France | Marion Polk Angellotti
  • Look at him and you wouldn't see a thing out of the way with him except that he'd be wearing a strait-jacket.

    Sundry Accounts | Irvin S. Cobb
  • And on the instant I was Darrell Standing, the life-convict, lying in his strait-jacket in solitary.

British Dictionary definitions for straitjacket


/ (ˈstreɪtˌdʒækɪt) /

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

  2. a severe restriction or limitation

  1. (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