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straiten

To straiten is to restrict financially, the way having your rent increase can straighten your circumstances if your salary stays the same.

The verb straiten is an old-fashioned one, but it's one way to describe a situation that's been diminished or constrained, usually because of money problems. This meaning derives from an earlier definition, "to restrict or make narrow," from strait, "narrow." If you find your circumstances narrowed by a lack of finances, you'll know what this word is all about.

Definitions of straiten
  1. verb
    squeeze together
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    type of:
    confine, detain
    deprive of freedom; take into confinement
  2. verb
    bring into difficulties or distress, especially financial hardship
    synonyms: distress
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    type of:
    bother, discommode, disoblige, incommode, inconvenience, put out, trouble
    cause inconvenience or discomfort to
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