From Latin strictus, past participle of stringere ‎(to draw tight, bind, contract). See stringent, strain.



strict ‎(comparative stricter, superlative strictest)

  1. Strained; drawn close; tight.
    strict embrace
    strict ligature
  2. Tense; not relaxed.
    strict fiber
  3. Exact; accurate; precise; rigorously nice.
    to keep strict watch
    to pay strict attention
  4. Governed or governing by exact rules; observing exact rules; severe; rigorous.
    • 1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 2, in The Hocussing of Cigarette[1]:
      No one, however, would have anything to do with him, as Mr. Keeson's orders in those respects were very strict ; he had often threatened any one of his employés with instant dismissal if he found him in company with one of these touts.
    very strict in observing the Sabbath
  5. Rigidly interpreted; exactly limited; confined; restricted.
    to understand words in a strict sense
  6. (botany) Upright, or straight and narrow; — said of the shape of the plants or their flower clusters.
  7. Severe in discipline.

Usage notesEdit

  • Stricter and strictest are the grammatically correct forms for the comparative and superlative though outside UK more strict and most strict are more often used.
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Borrowing from Latin strictus, perfect participle of stringere ‎(to draw tight, bind, contract). Doublet of étroit.



strict m ‎(feminine singular stricte, masculine plural stricts, feminine plural strictes)

  1. strict

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