Definition of strait-laced in English:


Line breaks: strait-laced
Pronunciation: /streɪtˈleɪst
(also straight-laced)


Having or showing very strict moral attitudes: his strait-laced parents were horrified
More 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.
conventional, conservative, old-fashioned, stuffy, staid, of the old school, narrow-minded
rare Grundyish, Pecksniffian


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: