Definition of stricture in English:



  • 1A restriction on a person or activity.

    ‘the strictures imposed by the British Board of Film Censors’
    • ‘Few local governors were Dissenters; but many were sympathetic to them and reluctant to impose the full strictures of the vindictive laws which Parliament went on to pass against their religious assemblies.’
    • ‘You are released from restrictions and strictures that may have been binding for some time.’
    • ‘But the most frightening thing about the entire affair is that public figures like congressmen inserted themselves into the case in order to uphold religious strictures.’
    • ‘You experience freedom from restrictions imposed by ideas and strictures.’
    • ‘Significantly, ministers are to impose new strictures on police and social workers.’
    • ‘Teachers often complain that it imposes too many strictures on them that force them to teach too much too fast.’
    • ‘Those same strong students (one hopes) will ultimately supercede the strictures imposed in the educational studio, but at what cost?’
    • ‘In all four gospel traditions, Jesus consistently makes the first move to reach out to the marginalized, often transgressing contemporary social mores and religious strictures in the process.’
    • ‘In suburbs, one could make new friendships and associations without worrying about old social conventions and strictures and separations.’
    • ‘Composers such as Webern leapt on the concept and ran with it, going so far as to impose these same strictures on all aspects of music including rhythm.’
    • ‘By 1750 writers had begun to question the religious strictures laid down by men such as Samuel Moody.’
    • ‘Above these there is a vocal line so free and continuous that the strictures imposed by the repetition of the bass are scarcely felt.’
    • ‘The point is that Labour politicians see no reason to impose upon themselves the strictures against offensive language they demand be observed by others.’
    • ‘Why impose such strictures on the whole of the market?’
    • ‘The same intellectual strictures confined Hunter's achievements.’
    • ‘Both sides in this political ‘debate’ between conservatism and liberalism stress personal freedom for themselves while piously imposing strictures on others.’
    • ‘It must be rooted in the most difficult strictures of the scriptures of the major religions and the deepest springs of the human heart.’
    • ‘On stem-cell research, he stated that the strictures he imposed still gave scientists more than sixty usable lines of such cells, when they had only one.’
    • ‘The statute essentially applies the strictures imposed by section 246 to deals involving foreign equities.’
    • ‘Muslims use much less silver because of strictures imposed by the Koran, which seems odd considering the lunar symbolism inherent in Islam.’
    constraint, restriction, limitation, control, restraint, straitjacket, curb, check, impediment, bar, barrier, obstacle
    View synonyms
  • 2A sternly critical or censorious remark or instruction.

    ‘his strictures on their lack of civic virtue’
    • ‘There is a powerful and self-regulating national interest in observing the strictures of the Convention, because prisoners are taken by both sides of any conflict.’
    • ‘Once again, my criticism of U.S. hegemony had to be tempered by a stricture on Japan's own insular nationalism.’
    • ‘However, I am also convinced that my stricture about the hermeneutic circle is and must be self-referential.’
    • ‘The element of political satire in his recent work, although radical and, in the broadest sense, ‘leftish’, eschews the strictures of the language police.’
    • ‘Such strictures may seem ironic coming from a historian whom some critics have seen as letting the landlords off lightly when it came to the abuse of their social and economic power.’
    • ‘Critics of both films offered strictures that suggest more than an awareness of this axiom.’
    • ‘Understanding the historicity of Adorno's strictures and imperatives is an unavoidable task for critical theory and aesthetics today.’
    • ‘These tracts heed the critical strictures against both love and wit.’
    criticism, censure, blame, condemnation, reproof, reproach, admonishment, disparagement, flak
    View synonyms
  • 3Medicine
    Abnormal narrowing of a canal or duct in the body.

    ‘a colonic stricture’
    [mass noun] ‘jaundice caused by bile duct stricture’
    • ‘Post inflammatory strictures most commonly develop in the colon, and are best demonstrated by barium enema.’
    • ‘A clear distinction between the dysphagia of an inflammatory stricture and that of carcinoma is impossible on clinical grounds alone.’
    • ‘His past history was significant for chronic alcoholic pancreatitis with pancreatic duct strictures and stones which had been treated with dilation and stone extraction 4 years ago.’
    • ‘All patients should be evaluated for esophageal rings and strictures after the foreign body is removed.’
    • ‘At the time of referral, she was awaiting surgery for a colonic stricture resulting from a recurrence of carcinoma of the colon.’
    narrowing, constriction, strangulation, tightness
    View synonyms


Late Middle English (in stricture): from Latin strictura, from stringere draw tight (see strict). Another sense of the Latin verb, ‘touch lightly’, gave rise to stricture via an earlier meaning ‘incidental remark’.