verb (used with object)

to put into difficulties, especially financial ones: His obligations had straitened him.
to restrict in range, extent, amount, pecuniary means, etc: Poverty straitens one's way of living.
  1. to make narrow.
  2. to confine within narrow limits.

Origin of straiten

First recorded in 1515–25; strait + -en1
Related formsun·strait·ened, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for straiten

Historical Examples of straiten

  • O love immense and independent, which nothing can limit or straiten!

    Spiritual Torrents

    Jeanne Marie Bouvires de la Mot Guyon

  • Hatsell, Baron—Mr. Cowper, I would not have you straiten yourself, but only ask those questions that are pertinent.

  • I want you to consider what per cent you can pay, and not straiten yourselves too much.

    Hope Mills

    Amanda M. Douglas

  • He told me he could not say but it might straiten him a little; but, however, it was my money, and I might want it more than he.

  • Col. Harden, at the same time, with a body of mounted militia, had it in charge to straiten the enemy upon the Edisto.

    The Life of Francis Marion

    William Gilmore Simms

British Dictionary definitions for straiten



(tr; usually passive) to embarrass or distress, esp financially
(tr) to limit, confine, or restrict
archaic to make or become narrow
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