strait

A strait is a narrow sea channel or a difficult situation — remember that both are difficult to navigate. If you're stranded on a strait off the Black Sea, you might also say that you're in dire straits.

The noun strait comes from the Latin word strictus, meaning "to bind or draw tight." Whether you're describing a narrow passage of water or a tricky situation, a strait will make you feel like you're in tight quarters. You might be familiar with the term "dire straits," which refers an urgent or drastic situation. If all the dorms are overbooked for the fall semester and the off-campus apartments are all rented, you might find yourself in dire straits.

Primary Meanings of strait

1.
nadj
a narrow channel of the sea joining two larger bodies of water
narrow
2.
n
a bad or difficult situation or state of affairs
Full Definitions of strait
1

n a narrow channel of the sea joining two larger bodies of water

Synonyms:
sound
Examples:
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Canakkale Bogazi
the strait between the Aegean and the Sea of Marmara that separates European Turkey from Asian Turkey
East River
a tidal strait separating Manhattan and the Bronx from Queens and Brooklyn
Bering Strait
a strait connecting the Bering Sea to the Arctic Ocean
Bosporus
a strait connecting the Mediterranean and the Black Sea; separates the European and Asian parts of Turkey; an important shipping route
Cook Strait
a narrow strait separating the North Island and South Island in New Zealand
Golden Gate
a strait in western California that connects the San Francisco Bay with the Pacific Ocean; discovered in 1579 by Sir Francis Drake
Kattegatt
a strait of the North Sea between Jutland and Sweden; connects with the North Sea through the Skagerrak
Korean Strait
a strait between Korea and Japan; connects the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan
Menai Strait
a strait in northern Wales between Anglesey Island and the mainland
North Channel
a strait between Northern Ireland and Scotland that connects the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea
Skagerrak
a broad strait of the North Sea between Jutland and Norway
Solent
a strait of the English Channel between the coast of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
Strait of Georgia
the strait separating Vancouver Island from the Canadian mainland
Strait of Gibraltar
the strait between Spain and Africa
Strait of Hormuz
a strategically important strait linking the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman
Strait of Magellan
the strait separating South America from Tierra del Fuego and other islands to the south of the continent; discovered by Ferdinand Magellan in 1520; an important route around South America before the Panama Canal was built
Strait of Messina
the strait separating Sicily from the tip of Italy
Strait of Calais
the strait between the English Channel and the North Sea; shortest distance between England and the European continent
Torres Strait
a strait between northeastern Australia and southern New Guinea that connects the Coral Sea with the Arafura Sea
Verrazano Narrows
a narrow channel of water separating Staten Island and Brooklyn
Types:
narrow
a narrow strait connecting two bodies of water
Type of:
channel
a deep and relatively narrow body of water (as in a river or a harbor or a strait linking two larger bodies) that allows the best passage for vessels

adj narrow

strait is the gate”
Synonyms:
narrow
not wide
2

n a bad or difficult situation or state of affairs

Synonyms:
pass, straits
Types:
desperate straits, dire straits
a state of extreme distress
Type of:
situation
a complex or critical or unusual difficulty