See more synonyms for strict on
adjective, strict·er, strict·est.
  1. characterized by or acting in close conformity to requirements or principles: a strict observance of rituals.
  2. stringent or exacting in or in enforcing rules, requirements, obligations, etc.: strict laws; a strict judge.
  3. closely or rigorously enforced or maintained: strict silence.
  4. exact or precise: a strict statement of facts.
  5. extremely defined or conservative; narrowly or carefully limited: a strict construction of the Constitution.
  6. close, careful, or minute: a strict search.
  7. absolute, perfect, or complete; utmost: told in strict confidence.
  8. stern; severe; austere: strict parents.
  9. Obsolete. drawn tight or close.

Origin of strict

1570–80; < Latin strictus, equivalent to strig-, variant stem of stringere to draw tight + -tus past participle suffix
Related formsstrict·ness, nouno·ver·strict, adjectivesu·per·strict, adjectivesu·per·strict·ly, adverbsu·per·strict·ness, nounun·strict, adjectiveun·strict·ly, adverbun·strict·ness, noun

Synonyms for strict

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1. narrow, illiberal, harsh, austere. Strict, rigid, rigorous, stringent imply inflexibility, severity, and an exacting quality. Strict implies great exactness, especially in the observance or enforcement of rules: strict discipline. Rigid, literally stiff or unbending, applies to that which is (often unnecessarily or narrowly) inflexible: rigid economy. Rigorous, with the same literal meaning, applies to that which is severe, exacting, and uncompromising, especially in action or application: rigorous self-denial. Stringent applies to that which is vigorously exacting and severe: stringent measures to suppress disorder. 4. accurate, scrupulous.

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

Examples from the Web for strictest

Contemporary Examples of strictest

Historical Examples of strictest

  • But the brothers keep every rule—of the strictest observance.

    The Coryston Family

    Mrs. Humphry Ward

  • He was respected by his neighbours, and held the strictest views on morality.

    A Zola Dictionary

    J. G. Patterson

  • The one and the many or others are reduced to their strictest arithmetical meaning.

  • The Shore Lane was not a public road, in the strictest sense of the term.

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • But in recent weeks—I tell you this in strictest confidence, understand!

British Dictionary definitions for strictest


  1. adhering closely to specified rules, ordinances, etca strict faith
  2. complied with or enforced stringently; rigorousa strict code of conduct
  3. severely correct in attention to rules of conduct or moralitya strict teacher
  4. (of a punishment, etc) harsh; severe
  5. (prenominal) complete; absolutein strict secrecy
  6. logic maths (of a relation)
    1. applying more narrowly than some other relation often given the same name, as strict inclusion, which holds only between pairs of sets that are distinct, while simple inclusion permits the case in which they are identicalSee also proper (def. 9), ordering
    2. distinguished from a relation of the same name that is not the subject of formal study
  7. botany rare very straight, narrow, and uprightstrict panicles
Derived Formsstrictly, adverbstrictness, noun

Word Origin for strict

C16: from Latin strictus, from stringere to draw tight
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 strictest



1590s, "narrow, drawn in, small," from Latin strictus "drawn together, tight, rigid," past participle of stringere "draw or bind tight" (see strain (v.)). The sense of "stringent and rigorous" (of law) is first found in 1570s; of qualities or conditions generally, 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper