straits


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strait

 (strāt)
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
1.
a. Difficult; stressful.
b. Having or marked by limited funds or resources.
2.
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.

straits

(streɪts)
pl n
to be in dire straits to be in desperate straits to be in a position of acute difficulty
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.straits - a bad or difficult situation or state of affairs
desperate straits, dire straits - a state of extreme distress
situation - a complex or critical or unusual difficulty; "the dangerous situation developed suddenly"; "that's quite a situation"; "no human situation is simple"
2.straits - a difficult juncture; "a pretty pass"; "matters came to a head yesterday"
juncture, occasion - an event that occurs at a critical time; "at such junctures he always had an impulse to leave"; "it was needed only on special occasions"
References in classic literature ?
This rampart is pierced by several sally-ports for the convenience of ships and whales; conspicuous among which are the straits of Sunda and Malacca.
I now made the old town of Benicia, on the Carquinez Straits, my headquarters.
There is no part of the world of coasts, continents, oceans, seas, straits, capes, and islands which is not under the sway of a reigning wind, the sovereign of its typical weather.
He tacked a score of feet from the wharf, waved his hand theatrically, like a knight about to enter the lists, received a hearty cheer in return, and stood away into the Straits for a couple of hundred yards.
The Torres Straits are nearly thirty-four leagues wide; but they are obstructed by an innumerable quantity of islands, islets, breakers, and rocks, that make its navigation almost impracticable; so that Captain Nemo took all needful precautions to cross them.
85: Some say that great earthquakes occurred, which broke through the neck of land and formed the straits (3), the sea parting the mainland from the island.
Frankly, I confess that I am in desperate straits--in such straits as I have never yet known.
A HORSE, Ox, and Dog, driven to great straits by the cold, sought shelter and protection from Man.
Besides, he that clears at once will relapse; for finding himself out of straits, he will revert to his custom: but he that cleareth by degrees, induceth a habit of frugality, and gaineth as well upon his mind, as upon his estate.
Yet the good ship ploughed straight on, unretarded by wind or wave, towards the straits of Bab-el-Mandeb.
Yonder, between two lines of shrubs, were moving bodies - men, footsore and weary, crawling along with slow, painful movements; one at least of them was a European, and even at that distance Trent could tell that they were in grievous straits. He felt for his revolver, and, finding that it was in his belt, descended the hill quickly towards them.
This place he presumed would be somewhere about the Straits of Annian, at which point he supposed the Oregon disembogued itself.