Share this entry

Share this page

strait-laced

Syllabification: strait-laced
Pronunciation: /ˌstrātˈlāst
 
/
(also straight-laced)

Definition of strait-laced in English:

adjective

Having or showing very strict moral attitudes.
Example sentences
  • A strait-laced British Government official arrives to offer cash aid to dig 38 wells for the president's drought-stricken people.
  • For two decades, the BBC's voice of youth enforced a moral code that your average Victorian aunt would have thought strait-laced.
  • In the sequel, a clash of cultures ensues when the straight-laced, conservative Byrnes family meets the liberal, relaxed Fockers.
Synonyms
prim (and proper), prudish, puritanical, prissy, conservative, old-fashioned, stuffy, staid, narrow-minded
informal starchy, square, fuddy-duddy

Usage

As an adjective, strait means ‘narrow or cramped’ and ‘strict or rigorous’: the idea behind strait-laced and straitjacket is of being tightly laced or confined. As strait is now old-fashioned and unfamiliar, however, people often interpret it as the more usual word straight. Straight-laced and straightjacket are now generally accepted in standard English, and the spelling straight-laced is more common than strait-laced in the Oxford English Corpus.

Definition of strait-laced in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day peart
Pronunciation: pərt
adjective
lively; cheerful