Definition of strait in English:


Syllabification: strait
Pronunciation: /strāt


1 (also straits) A narrow passage of water connecting two seas or two large areas of water: [in place names]: the Strait of Gibraltar
More example sentences
  • They glided over the narrow strait of turbulent ocean water that made the island look like it had been cut in half with a steak knife.
  • ‘The Northwest Passage is a strait for international navigation,’ says a State Department lawyer.
  • In purely commercial terms, passage through the strait would cut time off sailings from the west coast of North Korea.
channel, sound, inlet, stretch of water
2 (straits) Used in reference to a situation characterized by a specified degree of trouble or difficulty: the economy is in dire straits a crippling disease could leave anyone in serious financial straits
More example sentences
  • But I, like many newer Canadians, do not carry the weight of having placed them in dire straits.
  • In the 1840s, St Peter's School was in dire straits and about to close.
  • That leaves county schools in dire straits, with many already having to unravel established teaching practices.
a bad/difficult situation, difficulty, trouble, crisis, a mess, a predicament, a plight
informal hot/deep water, a jam, a hole, a bind, a fix, a scrape


archaic Back to top  
1(Of a place) of limited spatial capacity; narrow or cramped: the road was so strait that a handful of men might have defended it
More example sentences
  • First, He brought me here, it is by His will I am in this strait place: in that fact I will rest.
  • You either enter by a strait gate onto a narrow way or you go with the crowd through the wide gate and the broad way that leadeth to destruction.
  • Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
1.1Close, strict, or rigorous: my captivity was strait as ever
More example sentences
  • The bullets sang softly in their strait prison of steel and brass.
  • Incensed with rage, he commands that his wife should be carried to strait prison until they heard further of his pleasure.


Middle English: shortening of Old French estreit 'tight, narrow', from Latin strictus 'drawn tight' (see strict).



More example sentences
  • Unfortunately, I always see the MAJORITY of people - yes, the majority of people will go straitly ahead even when there is a red light over there.
  • Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.
  • He caused them to be questioned right straitly, so that their torment was very grievous.


More example sentences
  • And then the life suffers under the law of sin and death; and then there is straitness and failings.
  • Such a course will ensure you experience the bitterness of spiritual straitness, as did the Corinthians.
  • My dear hearers, this very straitness of the path, this narrowness of the path, doth have in it something discouraging.

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