Definition of strait-laced in English:
- 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.
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.
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