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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Without papal assistance, crown finances would have been in even more desperate straits than in fact they were.
▪ In desperate straits and full of misgivings, I decide to seek therapy.
▪ For those in desperate straits the line between superstition and saving faith is finely drawn.
▪ For those in truly dire straits, bankruptcy is sometimes the only option.
▪ The result is a society that was in dire straits because its cannibalism turned against itself, involving even small children.
▪ Everton, to put it bluntly, are in dire straits.
▪ He had had little idea of the dire straits prevailing at Berwick nor that time had all but run out.
▪ Working with Dire straits has always been a vocation for me.
▪ It pull them in dire financial straits.
▪ Museum für Moderne Kunst in financial straits after only one year FRANKFURT-AM-MAIN.
▪ Arnil finally decided to return to his wife but feels ashamed to do so because of his financial straits.
▪ Although he had many substantial patrons, Evesham may have been in financial straits in the mid-1620s.
▪ It pull them in dire financial straits.
be in dire straits
▪ Peggy realized what dire financial straits she was in when her husband died.
▪ The company is in dire financial straits.
▪ The team is in such dire straits they've even considered selling their three best players.
▪ Everton, to put it bluntly, are in dire straits.
▪ The result is a society that was in dire straits because its cannibalism turned against itself, involving even small children.
▪ the Strait of Magellan
▪ Beyond the strait it was expected that we might encounter enemy submarines.
▪ Everton, to put it bluntly, are in dire straits.
▪ Smugglers have been plying the straits for years.
▪ They were expelled, and replaced by an Athenian citizen colony, strategically placed to hold the straits of Artemision.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Strait \Strait\, a. A variant of Straight. [Obs.]


Strait \Strait\, a. [Compar. Straiter; superl. Straitest.] [OE. straight, streyt, streit, OF. estreit, estroit, F. ['e]troit, from L. strictus drawn together, close, tight, p. p. of stringere to draw tight. See 2nd Strait, and cf. Strict.]

  1. Narrow; not broad.

    Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
    --Matt. vii. 14.

    Too strait and low our cottage doors.

  2. Tight; close; closely fitting.

  3. Close; intimate; near; familiar. [Obs.] ``A strait degree of favor.''
    --Sir P. Sidney.

  4. Strict; scrupulous; rigorous.

    Some certain edicts and some strait decrees.

    The straitest sect of our religion.
    --Acts xxvi. 5 (Rev. Ver.).

  5. Difficult; distressful; straited.

    To make your strait circumstances yet straiter.

  6. Parsimonious; niggargly; mean. [Obs.]

    I beg cold comfort, and you are so strait, And so ingrateful, you deny me that.


Strait \Strait\, adv. Strictly; rigorously. [Obs.]


Strait \Strait\, n.; pl. Straits. [OE. straight, streit, OF. estreit, estroit. See Strait, a.]

  1. A narrow pass or passage.

    He brought him through a darksome narrow strait To a broad gate all built of beaten gold.

    Honor travels in a strait so narrow Where one but goes abreast.

  2. Specifically: (Geog.) A (comparatively) narrow passageway connecting two large bodies of water; -- often in the plural; as, the strait, or straits, of Gibraltar; the straits of Magellan; the strait, or straits, of Mackinaw.

    We steered directly through a large outlet which they call a strait, though it be fifteen miles broad.
    --De Foe.

  3. A neck of land; an isthmus. [R.]

    A dark strait of barren land.

  4. Fig.: A condition of narrowness or restriction; doubt; distress; difficulty; poverty; perplexity; -- sometimes in the plural; as, reduced to great straits.

    For I am in a strait betwixt two.
    --Phil. i. 23.

    Let no man, who owns a Providence, grow desperate under any calamity or strait whatsoever.

    Ulysses made use of the pretense of natural infirmity to conceal the straits he was in at that time in his thoughts.


Strait \Strait\, v. t. To put to difficulties. [Obs.]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

mid-14c., "narrow, confined space or place," specifically of bodies of water from late 14c., from Old French estreit, estrait "narrow part, pass, defile, narrow passage of water," noun use of adjective (see strait (adj.)). Sense of "difficulty, plight" (usually straits) first recorded 1540s. Strait and narrow "conventional or wisely limited way of life" is recorded from mid-14c. (compare straight (adj.2)).


"narrow, strict" (late 13c.), from Old French estreit, estrait "tight, close-fitting, constricted, narrow" (Modern French étroit), from Latin strictus, past participle of stringere (2) "bind or draw tight" (see strain (v.)). More or less confused with unrelated straight (adj.). Related: Straightly.

  1. 1 (context archaic English) narrow; restricted as to space or room; close. 2 (context archaic English) Righteous, strict. 3 (context obsolete English) Tight; close; tight-fitting. 4 (context obsolete English) Close; intimate; near; familiar. 5 (context obsolete English) Difficult; distressful; straited. 6 (context obsolete English) Parsimonious; niggardly; mean. adv. (context obsolete English) Strictly; rigorously. n. 1 (context geography English) A narrow channel of water connecting two larger bodies of water. 2 A narrow pass or passage. 3 A neck of land; an isthmus. 4 A difficult position (often used in plural). v

  2. (context obsolete English) To put to difficulties.

  1. n. a narrow channel of the sea joining two larger bodies of water [syn: sound]

  2. a bad or difficult situation or state of affairs [syn: pass, straits]


adj. strict and severe; "strait is the gate"


A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. Most commonly it is a channel of water that lies between two land masses. Some straits are not navigable, for example because they are too shallow, or because of an unnavigable reef or archipelago.

Usage examples of "strait".

Islanded, isolated and hemmed in for centuries by the Master of the Straits, the armies of the kingdom of Alba had never constituted a true threat to our borders.

If there was one thing that terrified me above all others, it was not daring the wrath of the Master of the Straits nor the dangers of distant Alba and the blue-tattooed Cruithne.

At my request, Ysandre had several volumes sent from the Royal Library, texts on Alba and books in Cruithne, and treatises on the Master of the Straits.

Somewhere beyond the ability of my vision to scry lay the Straits of Alba, that wind-whipped expanse of water as grey and narrow and deadly as a blade, separating Ysandre from a dream.

Ganges to the Straits of Gibraltar, that they had no leisure for theological controversy: and though the Alcoran, the original monument of their faith, seems to contain some violent precepts, they were much less infected with the spirit of bigotry and persecution than the indolent and speculative Greeks, who were continually refining on the several articles of their religious system.

McGinty: patrolling slowly back and forth across the straits until noon, performing the duties just described, then after lunch anchoring in a quiet little cove on the Shikoku side for the afternoon, watching the strait visually and by radar, and communicating with any passing ships by radio or twenty-four-inch signal light.

Radado formed the western end of a great ancipital migratory route which stretched across the whole of Campannlat, the ultima Thule to which the creatures came in the summer of every Great Year, to go about their unfathomable rituals, or simply to squat motionless, staring across the Cadmer Straits towards Hespagorat, towards a destination unknown to other life forms.

Batavia in January 1628, in the hopes of passing the Straits of Bali in the good season, but not having succeeded she was driven out of her course to the shores of the Austral lands of the unknown Magellanica.

Near Trafalgar, the river Barbate issues into the straits of Gibraltar, after receiving several small tributaries, which combine with it to form, near its mouth, the broad and marshy Laguna de la Janda.

Muses bedew their cheeks with tears, in his strait is heard on every side the wailing appeal to us, and to avoid the danger of impending death he shows the slight sign of the ancient tonsure which we bestowed upon him, begging that we may be called to his aid and bear witness to the privilege bestowed upon him.

Lawrence Island, but the fog hung like a blanket over the sea as they passed through the waters now known as Bering Straits.

The fleet immediately unmoored and weighed, and at six in the evening ran through the strait between Biche and Sardinia: a passage so narrow that the ships could only pass one at a time, each following the stern lights of its leader.

Two hours later we were halfway across the Iyonada and before long would enter Bungo Strait.

Akagi, the sleek aircraft carrier flagship of Admiral Nagumo, headed westward through Kudako Strait, cruising easily at 16 knots on her course toward Bungo Channel and the broad Pacific.

The planes were on their way to neutralize any enemy submarines which might be lying in wait for us outside Bungo Strait.