Definition of strict in English:



  • 1Demanding that rules concerning behaviour are obeyed and observed.

    ‘my father was very strict’
    ‘a strict upbringing’
    • ‘My parents were strict, and at the time I didn't agree with everything they did.’
    • ‘When I was a kid I read books in the strangest of places, and under the cover reading was a good idea back in the days when parents were strict about bedtime.’
    • ‘Even though his parents were very strict, he learned to stick to his decisions even if his parents disagreed.’
    • ‘Luther had experienced an extremely strict and harsh childhood with little love or security.’
    • ‘He was strict, almost Puritan in his religious beliefs, and passionate about protecting the country from Catholic threat.’
    • ‘He was a strict and severe man but with no political ambitions.’
    • ‘James Sette's mother may well have had a strict and difficult upbringing, but at least she survived to have a life.’
    • ‘His voice was hard and harsh, strict and stern, sad and happy all at the same time.’
    • ‘I was also concerned about how scarily strict the authorities down here are on drug use.’
    • ‘It was a strict upbringing in which rules were sacrosanct, orders were obeyed without question and everyone knew their place.’
    • ‘I glanced at Kristy but didn't get a chance to ask her if the Coach always looked that serious and strict.’
    • ‘Most people try to put at least some distance between them and their parents, particularly if they've undergone a strict upbringing.’
    • ‘One parent is too strict with the children, the other too easy-going.’
    • ‘The boys had obviously gotten a pretty strict upbringing both at home and at school.’
    • ‘I had a strict Islamic upbringing but I was also spoilt with many presents and toys as a young boy.’
    • ‘During the Victorian lesson, Ms Roberts had the pupils reciting prayers by rote and kept the classroom atmosphere strict and formal.’
    • ‘Her own domestic science lessons had been conducted by a very strict teacher.’
    • ‘Later a delegation demanded strict action from chief minister and state home minister.’
    • ‘The days of white starched aprons and strict matrons were relived when former nurse cadets staged a reunion.’
    • ‘The years passed, and the king remained distant and strict, his land cold and harsh.’
    stern, severe, harsh, uncompromising, authoritarian, firm, austere, illiberal, inflexible, unyielding, unbending, no-nonsense
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of a rule or discipline) demanding total obedience or observance; rigidly enforced.
      ‘civil servants are bound by strict rules on secrecy’
      • ‘However, in Europe too, there are strict rules about behaviour on the slopes.’
      • ‘In addition to the lack of data, a strict code of silence concerning homosexual priests has been imposed.’
      • ‘But we are concerned about the strict time limits which we believe apply in this case.’
      • ‘The foreign mujahideen still in Jolan imposed strict Islamic codes of behavior on the neighborhood.’
      • ‘They also passed strict behavioral screenings and were picked from 200 candidates.’
      • ‘This logic was embraced by both anarchists and populists, and imposed a number of strict conditions on the behaviour of terrorists.’
      • ‘Families are expected to sign up for a strict behaviour code, including no returning drunk late at night or noisiness.’
      • ‘Buddhist monks observe a strict code of conduct in order to discipline the body and mind.’
      • ‘Nowadays, strict regulations are enforced, banning any type of fishing in the immediate area.’
      • ‘In the past our society imposed very strict codes of behavior, biased especially against women.’
      • ‘Free from the strict discipline of military training, she threw herself into university life with abandon.’
      • ‘They were taught by Pythagoras himself and obeyed strict rules.’
      • ‘The councils are concerned that the strict rules which safeguard the public purse and which the councils themselves have to follow are not in place.’
      • ‘He said it was caused by a minority who could not get into the club, which operates a strict dress and behaviour code.’
      • ‘Enforcing strict rules is the only option available for any vital change in our civic sense.’
      • ‘The government operated a strict code of behaviour, with hefty fines for anyone caught littering public places.’
      • ‘The military has strict codes of behaviour and specific challenges.’
      • ‘We treat this as a matter of the utmost importance, since we have a comprehensive, strict and unbending set of standards to miss.’
      • ‘All parties were supposed to be observing a strict media blackout.’
      • ‘Spitting in and littering of public places can be stopped by enforcing strict rules as well as fines and punishments.’
      stringent, rigorous, severe, harsh, hard, rigid, tough, extreme
      absolute, utter, complete, total, perfect
      View synonyms
  • 2(of a person) following rules or beliefs exactly.

    ‘a strict vegetarian’
    • ‘And it is hard to argue with such a position if we agree that ‘very strict Muslims’ also have rights.’
    • ‘Ateeq's close friend Saud Pervez met and fell in love with Shahida Younis, a young woman who had been brought up a strict Muslim.’
    • ‘As I've said elsewhere, I'm quite strict in how I go about watching horror films.’
    • ‘Now I am a strict follower of this rule about no corporal punishment whatsoever.’
    • ‘People still have to learn why and how to support these strict followers of the Buddha.’
    • ‘And certainly a strict believer in the rule of law like this Supreme Court Justice would agree.’
    • ‘And more to the point, I'm very strict about going Dutch, so that's even more money.’
    • ‘In spite of being a strict Muslim, she did not limit me to the Arabic schools, but sent me to a Catholic school.’
    • ‘And basic human empathy for anyone who isn't a strict member of their tribe is in short supply.’
    • ‘Hence the ultra strict formalist can never be sure that all of maths doesn't collapse.’
    • ‘But many resistance fighters are not strict Muslims, and do not pray.’
  • 3Exact in correspondence or adherence to something; not allowing or admitting deviation or relaxation.

    ‘a strict interpretation of the law’
    • ‘Although males may avoid each other on a temporal scale, this behavior is not strict territoriality.’
    • ‘Under a ‘stability pact’ they must maintain adherence to strict controls once they are in the system.’
    • ‘The second deficiency is concerned with the overly strict definition of selective neutrality.’
    • ‘This group is unwavering in its strict literal interpretation of the Bible.’
    • ‘By strict adherence to this schedule, he has been a successful, if tired, bigamist for three years.’
    • ‘Insiders in the strict sense are those connected with a company.’
    • ‘Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim year, during which strict fasting is observed from sunrise to sunset.’
    • ‘While true in a strict sense, the fallacy is that most of the assumptions necessary for this argument to be true are not realistic.’
    • ‘They demand a strict demarcation between police duties and intelligence duties.’
    • ‘The findings indicate that there are barriers to the care when patients are dying, including the strict adherence to hospital routine.’
    • ‘Successful treatment requires strict adherence to directions for application.’
    • ‘Extra marks are awarded for neatness, good spelling and strict adherence to the curriculum.’
    • ‘The Swazi demand strict adherence to rules concerned with kinship and political hierarchy.’
    • ‘The strict reserve area of the Bialowieza forest has been a Unesco World Heritage site since 1979.’
    • ‘Reports that oil has never been higher priced are true in a strict sense, but they are heavily biased and not really accurate.’
    • ‘We want strict adherence to the Constitution as was intended by the founding fathers.’
    • ‘It turned out my concerns about strict rule interpretation were unfounded.’
    • ‘Due to its strict adherence to purity, learning Dhrupad is very difficult.’
    • ‘Cham observe a fairly strict division of labor, with women caring for children and the household.’
    • ‘It is obviously impossible to love all men in any strict and true sense.’
    precise, exact, literal, close, faithful, true, accurate, unerring, scrupulous, careful, meticulous, rigorous, stringent
    orthodox, fundamentalist, conservative, traditional
    View synonyms


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘restricted in space or extent’): from Latin strictus, past participle of stringere ‘tighten, draw tight’.