adjective, strict·er, strict·est.

  1. characterized by or acting in close conformity to requirements or principles: a strict observance of rituals.
  2. stringent or exacting in or in enforcing rules, requirements, obligations, etc.: strict laws; a strict judge.
  3. closely or rigorously enforced or maintained: strict silence.
  4. exact or precise: a strict statement of facts.
  5. extremely defined or conservative; narrowly or carefully limited: a strict construction of the Constitution.
  6. close, careful, or minute: a strict search.
  7. absolute, perfect, or complete; utmost: told in strict confidence.
  8. stern; severe; austere: strict parents.
  9. Obsolete. drawn tight or close.


  1. adhering closely to specified rules, ordinances, etca strict faith
  2. complied with or enforced stringently; rigorousa strict code of conduct
  3. severely correct in attention to rules of conduct or moralitya strict teacher
  4. (of a punishment, etc) harsh; severe
  5. (prenominal) complete; absolutein strict secrecy
  6. logic maths (of a relation)
    1. applying more narrowly than some other relation often given the same name, as strict inclusion, which holds only between pairs of sets that are distinct, while simple inclusion permits the case in which they are identicalSee also proper (def. 9), ordering
    2. distinguished from a relation of the same name that is not the subject of formal study
  7. botany rare very straight, narrow, and uprightstrict panicles

adj.1590s, “narrow, drawn in, small,” from Latin strictus “drawn together, tight, rigid,” past participle of stringere “draw or bind tight” (see strain (v.)). The sense of “stringent and rigorous” (of law) is first found in 1570s; of qualities or conditions generally, 1580s.

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