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n. often straits
1. A narrow channel joining two larger bodies of water: straits that were treacherous; the Strait of Gibraltar; the Bosporus Straits.
2. A position of difficulty, perplexity, distress, or need: in desperate straits.
adj. Archaic
a. Difficult; stressful.
b. Having or marked by limited funds or resources.
a. Narrow or confined.
b. Fitting tightly; constricted.
3. Strict, rigid, or righteous.

[Middle English streit, narrow, a strait, from Old French estreit, tight, narrow, from Latin strictus, past participle of stringere, to draw tight; see streig- in Indo-European roots.]

strait′ly adv.
strait′ness n.
References in classic literature ?
We men of study, whose heads are in our books, have need to be straitly looked after
You were ready enough to do so, and the two old men charged you much and straitly.
Her mind was as the landscape outside when dark beneath clouds and straitly lashed by wind and hail.