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Strait-laced   Listen
adjective
Strait-laced  adj.  
1.
Bound with stays. "Let nature have scope to fashion the body as she thinks best; we have few well-shaped that are strait-laced."
2.
Restricted; stiff; constrained. (R.)
3.
Rigid in opinion; strict in manners or morals.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Strait-laced" Quotes from Famous Books



... not all patterns of decorum. But we cannot judge by the Anglo-Saxon standards of the nineteenth century the faults of an age in which a Ninon de L'Enclos lives on terms of veiled intimacy with a strait-laced Mme. de Maintenon, and, when age has given her a certain title to respectability, receives in her salon women of as spotless reputation as Mme. de La Fayette. Measured from the level of their time, the lives of the Rambouillet coterie stand out white and shining. The pure character ...
— The Women of the French Salons • Amelia Gere Mason

... novelties and advantages not attainable by any other conveyance. Since the parties on board a pleasure-boat concentrate all their thoughts to the expected enjoyments they cast aside all irksome forms and strait-laced habitudes, delivering themselves up to the free air to live less conventionally than at home. The preferableness of such an existence, freed from all unnecessary ceremonies, is still more perceptible when the trip is of long duration ...
— By Water to the Columbian Exposition • Johanna S. Wisthaler

... hand. No diversity of opinion troubled her: she was respectful to every sort of individuality, and indulgent to all constitutional peculiarities. It must have puzzled those who kept up the notion of her being "strait-laced" to see how indulgent she was even to Epicurean tendencies,—the remotest of all from ...
— Lady Byron Vindicated • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... at last, I being quite released From this strait-laced Egoity My soul will vastly be increased Into that All Which One we call, And One in ...
— Spiritual Reformers in the 16th & 17th Centuries • Rufus M. Jones

... for spoiling Jane, would frequently compare her niece with herself, as she remembered that dim figure of girlhood, and never failed to find cause for unfavourable comparison between the two. From the portraits which she drew it was generally believed that Miss Abingdon must have been born rather a strait-laced spinster of thirty, and have increased in wisdom until her hair was touched with grey; when she would seem to have become the mellow, severe, dignified, loving, and critical lady who at this moment was looking ...
— Peter and Jane - or The Missing Heir • S. (Sarah) Macnaughtan

... phrase roused the Countess like magic. Her involuntary start and smile took the Marquise by surprise. So far from showing a sign of the instinctive satisfaction felt by the most strait-laced of women when she learns that she has destroyed the peace of mind of some male victim, there was a hard, haggard expression in Julie's face—a look of repulsion ...
— A Woman of Thirty • Honore de Balzac

... "well-dressed, and not at all embarrassed." George III. and his sons talked a good deal to her, about her passage, her stay in England, and similar matters; but the princesses none of them said a word; and we hear that Queen Charlotte "looked at her earnestly." The strait-laced wife of George III. had probably consented to receive the Pretender's widow, only because this ceremony was a sort of second burial of Charles Edward, a burial of all the claims, the pride of the Stuarts; but she felt presumably no great ...
— The Countess of Albany • Violet Paget (AKA Vernon Lee)

... false or artificial he cannot sympathize, nor with such faults as baseness, cruelty, rancour; which seem contrary to human nature itself; but in dealing with faults of mere weakness he is far less strait-laced ...
— Wordsworth • F. W. H. Myers

... as our neighbors say: Topsparkle is no simpleton. When he set out upon the grand tour nearly forty years ago, he carried with him about as scandalous a reputation as a gentleman of fashion could enjoy. He had been cut by all the strait-laced people; and it is only the fact of his incalculable wealth which has opened the doors of decent houses for ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol. 5 • Various

... an invaluable cement. The pecuniary gain may have been half-a-crown. The loss in self-respect she did not seem to estimate. Aunt Theresa would not have done it herself, but she laughed encouragingly. It is difficult to be strait-laced with a lady who had so much old point, and whose silks are so stiff that she can rustle down your remonstrances. Another friend, a young officer whose personal extravagance was a proverb even at a station in India, boasted for a week of having sold a rickety knick-knack shelf ...
— Six to Sixteen - A Story for Girls • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... knots of ribbon, falls of lace, fringes of vertically hanging jet, or carried them along the bust, but nowhere attached themselves to the living creature, who, according as the architecture of their fripperies drew them towards or away from her own, found herself either strait-laced to suffocation or else ...
— Swann's Way - (vol. 1 of Remembrance of Things Past) • Marcel Proust

... was a popular, but by no means, in the usual acceptance of the word, a specially good woman. She was the reverse of strait-laced; her morals were nothing in particular, and her ideas on all subjects, whether on righteousness or wickedness, the broadest of the broad. She went neither to church nor chapel on Sundays—she professed no religion, although ...
— A Girl of the People • L. T. Meade

... he displays much knowledge and observation of English provincial life. He is, we imagine, the first high-class writer who brought the Bohemian, possibly an importation from France, into the English novel; and the contrast between the seedy strolling adventurer and strait-laced respectability provides him with material for inexhaustible irony, with much good-natured sympathy for the waifs and strays. He has always a soft corner in his heart for reckless hardihood; and every one must be glad that his 'poor friend Colonel Altamont,' who ...
— Studies in Literature and History • Sir Alfred Comyn Lyall

... murdered someone, in his own country or elsewhere as inevitably as in Australia; and the man who killed him would not have found Katherine Knowles less faithful during the long years of his imprisonment had her sacrifice been under the daily observation of Hammond's family and her own strait-laced aunts in their ...
— Australian Writers • Desmond Byrne

... the vintner's wife, when she saw him so soon back, jeered him, and would fain have been jocose, which he often after thought a woful immorality, considering the dreadful martyrdom of a godly man that had been done that day in the town; but at the time he was not so over strait-laced as to take offence at what she said; indeed, as he used to say, sins were not so heinous in those papistical days as they afterwards became, when men lost faith in penance, and found out the perils of ...
— Ringan Gilhaize - or The Covenanters • John Galt

... one thing to proclaim amusements, another to abolish them. The first was undoubtedly done, but we doubt if there was ever any long-continued effort to do the last; and in the latter part of Cromwell's reign the gloom, and the strait-laced regulations that caused it, ...
— The Love Letters of Dorothy Osborne to Sir William Temple, 1652-54 • Edward Abbott Parry

... his Majesty, nothing of a strait-laced man, attended divine or quasi-divine worship in the Cathedral Church,—where high Prince Bishops delivered PALLIUMS, did histrionisms; "manifested the ABSURDITAT of Papistry" more or less. Coming out of the Church, ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. IX. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... to propose them unless they are quite sure of their company. Maybe I'm wrong, and I often feel that I am strait-laced about such things. It is so odd to me that men cannot amuse themselves without pitting themselves against each other. When a man tells me that he can shoot better than I, I tell him that my keeper ...
— Phineas Finn - The Irish Member • Anthony Trollope

... they occupy themselves with external facts to the neglect of underlying ideas. On the whole, Ha-Meassef was an engine of propaganda and polemics rather than a literary production, though the campaign carried on in its pages against strait-laced orthodoxy and the Rabbis did not reach the degree of bitterness which was to characterize later periods—moderation that was due to its most prominent contributors. Wessely exhorted the editors not to attack religiousness nor ridicule the Rabbis, and Mendelssohn ...
— The Renascence of Hebrew Literature (1743-1885) • Nahum Slouschz

... a very strait-laced individual, and wont to raise his hands in horror at the mention of fighting, or anything, in fact, that partook of violence. He always gave it as his opinion that football was a brutal game, equal to the bull rights of the Spaniards, ...
— Darry the Life Saver - The Heroes of the Coast • Frank V. Webster

... have been worried. Almost every member, young and old, showed by his manner or some little act of attention that their sympathies were with the exile. While a few strait-laced old Quakers maintained that it was criminal to blaze away at your fellow-man with the firm intention of blowing the top of his head off, and that Harry should have been hung had Willits died, there were others ...
— Kennedy Square • F. Hopkinson Smith

... know already that you pass whenever you please. Why, that would be a pretty thing! The soldiers are not strait-laced gentry, and if they should become troublesome, with a couple of dollars, eh? Come, I see that you are not badly armed. All you want now is an eight-pounder. Pistols, eh? And ...
— Dona Perfecta • B. Perez Galdos

... the Fealties sworn; and the young Majesty in due course goes about, or gives directions, now here now there, in his various Provinces, getting that accomplished. But even in that, Friedrich is by no means strait-laced or punctilious; does it commonly by Deputy: only in three places, Konigsberg, Berlin, Cleve, does he appear in person. Mainly by deputy; and always with the minimum of fuss, and no haranguing that ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XI. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... Helena Napoleon lived five and a half years. He was allowed considerable freedom of movement and the society of a group of close personal friends. He spent his time in walking on the lonely island or in quarreling with his suspicious strait-laced English jailer, Sir Hudson Lowe, or in writing treatises on history and war and dictating memoirs to his companions. These memoirs, which were subsequently published by the Marquis de Las Cases, were subtly ...
— A Political and Social History of Modern Europe V.1. • Carlton J. H. Hayes

... consulting his own happiness, his own ease. Worse still, he, of all men in the world, had dared to set himself up as too virtuous forsooth to have anything to do with an atheist. Was that the mind which was in Christ? Was He a strait-laced, self-righteous Pharisee, too good, too religious to have anything to say to those who disagreed with Him? Did He not live and die for those who are yet enemies to God? Was not the work of reconciliation the ...
— We Two • Edna Lyall

... if there had been, it would hardly have commended itself to the old-fashioned taste of Dr. Bryant, to whom Pope was still a power in poetry, as Addison, no doubt, was in prose. It was natural, therefore, that he should offer his boy to the strait-laced Muses of Queen Anne's time; that the precocious boy should lisp in heroic couplets, and that he should endeavor to be satirical. Politics were running high in the first decade of the present century, and the favorite bug-bear in New England was President Jefferson, who in 1807 had laid ...
— Poetical Works of William Cullen Bryant - Household Edition • William Cullen Bryant

... the eleventh century as pale and shabby, ever bearing the look of hunted animals, shamefaced, depressed by clerical hate, royal greed, and the brutality of the masses. In the Jewries of France at this time there was nothing sad or sombre, [somber sic] no strait-laced orthodoxy, no jargon, no disgraceful costume, none of that gloomy isolation betokening distrust, scorn, ...
— Rashi • Maurice Liber

... the objections—in the strictest incognito, of course, trusting to their masks. And Helena herself was bent on going with them, if she could only manage it without being discovered at Gleninch. Mr. Macallan was one of the strait-laced people who disapproved of the ball. No lady, he said, could show herself at such an entertainment without compromising her reputation. What stuff! Well, Helena, in one of her wildest moments, hit on a way of going to the ball without discovery which ...
— The Law and the Lady • Wilkie Collins

... about," assented Tucker, "and to think hard about, too—and yet I cut my teeth on the theory that women have no sense of honour. Now, that is pure, foolish, strait-laced ...
— The Deliverance; A Romance of the Virginia Tobacco Fields • Ellen Glasgow

... were proposed. As for the lady who dislikes "light" literature, she is a subject for laughter among the gods. To see such an one present a sensible workman with a pamphlet entitled "Who Paid for the Mangle?—or, Maria's Pennies," is to know what overpowering joy means. Yet the severe and strait-laced censors are not perhaps so much of a nuisance as the sternly-cultured and emotional persons who "yearn" a great deal. The "yearnest" man or woman always has an ideal which is usually the vaguest thing in the cloudland of metaphysics. I fancy ...
— Side Lights • James Runciman



Words linked to "Strait-laced" :   tight-laced, proper, prissy, priggish, straightlaced, prim, straight-laced, victorian



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