Definition of straitjacket in English:


(also straightjacket)


  • 1A strong garment with long sleeves which can be tied together to confine the arms of a violent prisoner or mental patient.

    • ‘The poisoned workers were taken from the plant in straitjackets, hallucinating, convulsing and screaming.’
    • ‘The treatments comprised straightjackets, seclusion, insulin shock and electric shock treatment, that was it.’
    • ‘She was known for choosing the most difficult assignments, caring for the terminally ill and even the deranged patients that often were brought in straitjackets.’
    • ‘The empty sleeves are wrapped around the figure and stapled like a straitjacket.’
    • ‘My dad asked whether this man should merely be removed from office, or whether he should be placed into a straitjacket immediately after.’
    • ‘He was on a gurney, all wrapped up in a straitjacket and his feet were chained together.’
    • ‘I told Paul C. that there were no straitjackets or handcuffs involved in that performance, at all.’
    • ‘The pupils are hard at work and Blaine will be treated to a display including a lampshade which induces insanity, a multi-coloured straitjacket and a speech by each pupil explaining their work.’
    • ‘You probably want to know what it is like in a mental ward; you've never been there, and the only image you can conjure is what the movies show you: antiseptic white with straitjackets and rubber rooms.’
    • ‘The author regularly seems less like a journalist interviewing a subject than a therapist who has foolishly removed her patient's straitjacket so they can head off for a jaunt in the jungle.’
    • ‘He once swam a mile with his hands and feet handcuffed together and did 12 lengths in a straitjacket.’
    • ‘Then he used them to make mini straitjackets for the twins.’
    • ‘Shirui, himself, was the one who strapped Lhee into a straightjacket and threw him into the mental hospital.’
    • ‘I thought of this as the men in white suits put the white straitjacket on me and shepherded me into a white vehicle leading me to a white building with shiny white linoleum floors, white walls and indeed white everywhere.’
    • ‘Sometimes they put me in there without a straitjacket if I'm not too violent.’
    • ‘It's one of the more panic-inducing screen sequences in memory: In a hospital morgue, a mental patient is trussed in a straitjacket and locked away in the airless dark of a body storage drawer.’
    • ‘And we were taken to be strapped together in an all-in-one straitjacket.’
    • ‘For good behaviour, I was allowed to go around without a straightjacket and even visit with some of the more sane patients.’
    • ‘After the treatment, we see her standing dazed in a straitjacket, muttering unintelligibly, her hair standing on end, sparks flying from her head.’
    • ‘A quick strong jerk and the straitjacket burst up high into the air.’
    1. 1.1 Used in reference to something that restricts freedom of action, development, or expression.
      ‘the government is operating in an economic straitjacket’
      • ‘We must break through the mental straitjacket and realize that another world is possible.’
      • ‘Defining public use narrowly would put a straitjacket on governments in devising solutions to difficult social problems.’
      • ‘Men have long considered traditional marital roles ‘anemic and constricting,’ according to Real, and no longer being the sole breadwinner is a loosening of the straitjacket.’
      • ‘They quarantined the city workers' struggle, confining it within the political straitjacket of collective bargaining and appeals to the big business politicians.’
      • ‘We've got the government ordering us to zip up our mental straitjackets in public.’
      • ‘They can step outside of the conformist straitjackets of their own culture and become hip, become cool.’
      • ‘Any form of independent resistance by workers, any attempt to break out of the straitjacket and control of the trade unions, is to be prevented under all circumstances.’
      • ‘It's as if defensive coordinators have wiggled out of straitjackets and finally can turn the pages of their playbooks again.’
      • ‘Yet they're all built from the wiggle-room found inside the tightest of genre straitjackets.’
      • ‘By placing women in ideological straitjackets, both the feminist and traditionalist women's groups have made themselves largely irrelevant to today's women.’
      • ‘What you had always done was to entomb your inner personal centre within the constricting straitjacket of certain words and formulae.’
      • ‘The political straitjacket of the two-party system that has confined the American working class is objectively finished.’
      • ‘Slipping on a straitjacket of simplistic logic, we come to believe that the disorder must, or at the very least should, be overcome by an application of willpower.’
      • ‘Of course I do not seek to put the trial judge in a straightjacket.’
      • ‘Of course this does not mean that the courts have to put their reasoning into the straitjacket of first construing the statute in the abstract and then looking at the facts.’
      • ‘She refuses to let herself be confined in any of the old world's many straightjackets.’
      • ‘The author is so keen to break out of the straitjacket of conventional narrative that he forgets to include a plot.’
      • ‘The Commission, for its part, has generally not sought to impose any procedural straitjackets.’
      • ‘Mr McNamara, for the defendant, submits that the Framework does not impose a straitjacket but that in any event the matter was approached correctly in terms of the flowchart in Figure 5.’
      • ‘We have to be careful, as you would understand, putting straitjackets on either judges or counsel.’
      restrictions, trammels, restraints, constraints
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  • 1Restrain with a straitjacket.

    • ‘In terms of the film's representations of Billie, straitjacketed and screaming, she is presented metaphorically as a swaddling baby as she cries out for care.’
    • ‘We have been locked in seclusion, placed in restraints, chemically and physically straitjacketed, lobotomized, shocked and beaten because we protested too much.’
    1. 1.1 Impose severely restrictive measures on (a person or activity)
      ‘the treaty should not be used as a tool to straitjacket international trade’
      • ‘Since then medical practice has been straitjacketed by its artificiality, to the detriment of the patient's own narrative.’
      • ‘But even before illness took hold, Semmelweis was straitjacketed by fear, Nuland maintains.’
      • ‘Beyond that, Wilson's dictatorial approach straitjackets the singers, who function as little more than slaves to the director's concept.’
      • ‘The music center, which is positioned above the shopping like a keystone connecting the two sides of the building, is wedged in unceremoniously, and visually lost, straitjacketed by the larger building.’
      • ‘I'd probably frame it more in terms of a clash of belief systems: monotheistic Christianity straitjacketing polytheistic animism into more polarised gender roles, and introducing the concept of sin.’
      • ‘There are undoubtedly areas where the government is moving more and more to straitjacket the courts.’
      • ‘Ignore those who would straightjacket permissible thought.’
      • ‘This is a crude attempt to straitjacket the working class, to prevent it from adopting an independent class viewpoint.’
      • ‘She can write an expansive melody that's well structured but isn't straitjacketed by chorus and verse.’
      • ‘The façade never quite resolves its identity crisis, and the rigid design straitjackets other intimations of a hidden life.’
      • ‘That is a deliberate attempt to straitjacket the winner of Brazil's presidential election, due in October.’
      • ‘The organisations also require ownership from the people on the ground and time to develop before we move headlong into another straitjacketed, bureaucratic institution.’
      • ‘It is a world that has more meaning for them than the badly-run straitjacketed confines of government schools.’
      • ‘His gestures, his mannerisms and voice all seem too large, too forced to give Biggs any chance of not being the standard straitjacketed worshipper of protocol.’
      • ‘Such a person likes the idea of exposure to the stock markets where the investment risk is well spread out and the fund manager is straitjacketed into index tracking with no outside bets possible.’
      • ‘He likes the open-endedness of this, after the straitjacketing rigours of mechanical engineering.’
      • ‘Interestingly, the employees do not work in a rigid, straitjacketed fashion.’
      • ‘His argument is simply that there is a delicate balance between being prepared, and being straightjacketed.’
      • ‘There's not enough there to carry it into the classic league, and somehow the comedy is let down by the straitjacketing of the plot.’
      • ‘Their role is to straitjacket the working class and organize defeats.’
      hinder, interfere with, impede, hamper, obstruct, block, slow, check, curb, retard, handicap, tie, cramp
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See strait-laced