Show Search Results Show Browse

A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 2001 (DOST Vol. X).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Strait, Strate, adj., adv. and n. Also: straitt, strayt(t, strayth, straite, strayte, strat(t, streit, streyit, street, streat(t, stryte, straight, streight, streicht. Compar. and superl. also straitair, straihtest, strathast. [ME and e.m.E. streit (Layamon), strait (Cursor M.), strayte (c1300), strayt (Rolle), streyt (Wyclif), streight (Lydgate), OF estreit (c1155 in Larousse) tight, close, narrow, L. strictus, p.p. of stringere to tighten, bind tightly. Cf. Stri(c)k adj.]

A. adj. 1. Of footwear: Tight-fitting. b. Of fetters: Tightly fastened.a. 1625 Justiciary Cases I 23.
The wound opnit in the drawing on of ane pair of strait buitis
1697 Foulis Acc. Bk. 208.
To Sauchies groom that brought a pair of boots and tooke them back, being to strait
b. 1569 Reg. Privy C. II 62.
[They] sall incontinent … be put in strait irnis

2. Of a place: Cramped, confined, affording little room. 1375 Barb. iii 110.
Ane narow place, Betuix a louchside and a bra; That wes sa strait, … That he mycht nocht weill turn his sted
1375 Barb. vi 58.
In a bog he fand a place Veill strate
1375 Barb. vii 529.
The King wes Lugit in-to so strate a place, That hors-men mycht hym nocht assale
a1400 Leg. S. vii 762.
He sa sted wes in that place, That he mycht nothire syt no ly; Sa strate to hyme wes that herbry
a1400 Leg. S. xxix 103.
Placydas … Presit fast to cum hym til; Bot he mycht nocht—sa strat the place Wes quhare the best bydand wes
a1500 Seven S. 2325.
Ane strait towre & a faire with all He biggit fast to the castall wall
c1646 Craufurd Edinb. Univ. 20.
The council considering that the place was too strait for so great an number, appoynted the east loft of the Trinity Colledge Kirk for their use
1675 Edinb. B. Rec. X 250.
The present meall mercat is so strait and narrow that it cannot both be a meall mercat and a corne mercat
1680-6 Lauder Observes 277.
That none but members should adventure in heirafter, the roume being strait

b. specif. Of a prison. 1456 Hay I 174/7.
Gif he be haldin in sa strayte prisoun that he be in perile of malady perpetuale or of dede
1570 Cal. Sc. P. III 481.
[Seeing that Lord Semple is transported to Draffan, which is the] strattar [prison]

3. Of a (means of) passage, way, road, entry, channel, etc.: So narrow as to make access or transit difficult.(1) 1375 Barb. x 18.
Ane euill place, That so strat and so narrow was, That twa men sammyn mycht nocht ryde
1533 Boece 39b.
The strate and naro sey deviding Cathnes fra Orknay
(b) 1375 Barb. vi 364.
His wyt schawyt him the strait entre Off the furd
1375 Barb. x 564.
A strayt roid that I sperit had In-till the crage syne doun I went
1375 Barb. xiv 114.
A pase … Men callys … Innermallane In all Irland straytar is nane
c1420 Wynt. viii 4821.
a1500 Rauf C. 731.
The king … tauld … How the busteous beirne met him on the bent, … and sa strait ford
1494 Loutfut MS 30a.
Quhen the litil lezard worthis auld scho puttis hir throw a strait hole of a wall aganis the somer
1513 Doug. iii x 63.
From the strait bay of Pelorus the mont
1531 Bell. Boece I xxvii.
Nidisdail … beginnis with ane narow and strait hals
1531 Bell. Boece I 28. 1531 Bell. Boece II 243.
The place quhare thay fled was sa strait, that na pepil micht fle esaly throw the samin
1549 Cal. Sc. P. I 181.
[On this side] the strayte water of Muscellburghe
a1578 Pitsc. II 37/27.
They come to ane place callit the Sandie Callsay and thair the passage was so strait that they might not pase
c1646 Craufurd Edinb. Univ. 71.
First ascending by an strait scale of stone to the Lower Galery
a1650 Buchanan's Hist. MS Index (Edinb. Univ. Lib. *R. 20/12).
Fretum, a strait sea
(c) 1569 Berw. Nat. C. XXIV 425.
West the Blakdyke to the hie streit way that lies to the Brokinmos
(d) 15.. Lynd. Rutter 9 (B).
This Kyilra is a streat passage and a dangerous stream
(2) 1375 Barb. vi 463.
The king, That wes that tym with his gaderyng In [Cumnok], quhar it stratest was

b. Of a country, place: Full of narrow passages or defiles; inaccessible; impassable. 1460 Hay Alex. 2729.
Into Pers the narrest way he takis And … ane gret castell thai spy … sett vpoun ane roche meruelus And vnder it ane passage parrellus; The cuntre was baith strait and onwinnabill
1460 Hay Alex. 2776.
Intill ane cuntre … full of rochis and montangneȝe Quhilk was sa strait that hors and man it maingneȝe; Quhare that the passages sa narow was [etc.]
c1475 Wall. iv 159.
That land is strait, and maisterfull to wyn
1533 Boece 49.
King Fergus … chargit that all … wemen and barnis suld pas to craggis and strate erdis [L. ut … rupes locaque natura poene invia adirent]
1533 Boece 49.
vm Britouns, hantit amang montanis and strate erde [L. per loca aspersa incedere consueta]

c. transf. Of access to such places: Gained through narrow routes. 1456 Hay I 113/9.
All gud constable suld put his fut men in stark place outhir hill or othir strenth that war strayte cummyn and the hors men nere the fut men upon a playne place

d. fig. and in fig. (Biblical) contexts, after Matth. vii 13. Also absol. 1490 Irland Mir. II 67/15.
We haue mony strait and peralus gaitis to pas and we cum to the realme of paradice
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Matth. vii 13.
Entre ye be the strayt yet: for the yet that leidis to perditioun is large and the way is brade
1563 Knox in Cal. Sc. P. II 25.
That straitt way that leadeht to lyef
1585–6 Misc. Wodrow Soc. 444.
Men … that hes wryed from the streicht path way in honouring God or pleasuring thair prince
1597 James VI Dæmonol. (STS) 34/17.
We ought not the more of that restraine from vertue that the way wherby we climbe thereunto be straight and perrilous
1603 E. Melville Godlie Dreame 148.
That pleasant place most purchaist be with paine, The way is strait, and thou hes far to go
absol. 1638 Fugitive Poetry II xvi 2/3.
I love the truth and errors hate … I love the strait, in the wyde gait my saul abhorres to goe astray

4. Of conditions, suffering, punishment: Severe. c1420 Wynt. vii 2045.
Kyng Willame … qwyt-clemyd all homagis And alkyn strayt condytyownys That Henry … had
1549 Compl. 125/14.
And for the vepyng of pure men, the diuyne iustice sal exsecut strait punitione
1562-92 Wode's Psalter lxxxv.
O Lord thou … brought furth Iacob … who was in thraldome streit [: great]
1590–1 Crim. Trials I ii 226.
Many unreasonable strait conditions grantit to Angus at the last

b. Of a mode of life, a religious rule: Involving hardship or privation; strictly regulated. a1400 Leg. S. xvii 89.
A kyrke … Quhare scho strate lyfe ay can led
a1400 Leg. S. xxxvi 277.
He fled, & mad habitacione In wildirnes, & strat lyf leide
a1538 Abell 82b.
Sanct Walteyn thinkand at he wald leif a strater life for Cristis saik he come to the ordur of Sisterche in the abbay of Melros
1562-3 Winȝet II 47/28.
The stryte way of haly pouertie
1596 Dalr. I 251/29.
Quha in the wildirnes … ane strait and hard lyfe lyuet al thair dayes, in fasting and prayer
1596 Dalr. I 335/28.
Nochtwithstandeng simpler cled bischop than abbot [he] … lyuet vnder a strayter rule magistrate than priuat, evir

5. Stern, unbending, exacting. a. Of persons. b. Of (God's or Christ's) judgment.a. 1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 168.
Esay … appeareth to be well strait; but how strait however he was, he hath his warrant
1593 Haddington B. Rec. (Robb) 24 Dec.
William Purves … chirurgeon … being complenit upoun that he wes not thankfull in cureing of James Hislop … ane pure man hurt in the touns caws, and wes our der & strait
b. 1490 Irland Mir. II 52/22.
This artikle of the faith … suld ger ws be deligent walkrif and haue euir in memor the strait iugement of God
?a1500 Remembr. Passion 352.
O Lord Jesu, … Grant me … to do pennance that I may thole thi strait iugement
a1550 Goldin Latany 212/254.
Succour ws, sueit Jesu, in that dreidfull day of strait iugment
Arundel MS 246/223.
Ȝit neuertheles I, traistand in thy marcy, appeil fra thi strait iugement to thy marcy

c. Strict in one's religious observance. 1567 G. Ball. 178.
Thocht thow be of religioun, The straitest in all regioun
1596 Dalr. I 335/23.
Ȝe walde doubte gif ȝe had seine quhither he was a mair diligent bischop or a straiter religious mounk

d. Of a liturgy: ? Spartan, austere; ? simple. c1515 Asl. MS I 198/17.
Ȝour prestis war changit in thar devyne seruice fra the vse of Rome vnto a strater seruice

6. Of a command, obligation, requirement, etc.: Strict, stringent; allowing for no evasion. a1400 Leg. S. xlii 188.
Thane gert he put hire in presone & mad strat inhibicione That na man acces suld hafe
c1420 Wynt. v 1365.
For strayte sylence he held ay
14.. Acts I 333/2.
Streit keping of the law
1424 Acts II 8/2.
To the quhilkis jugis all & sindry the King sall gif strayt commandment [etc.]
1437 Cop. St. A. 155.
Fourty pundis … part beforhand and other part to be payt undir strayt obligacioun
14.. Reg. Maj. c. 125.
Gif forsuth it be erryt in the name throw the strayt law the breff is wode & wane
c1460 Regim. Princ. 269 (Marchm.).
Grete counsale … Has ordanit strate justice na man to spair
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1218.
Contra et pro strait argumentis thay resolue
a1500 Seven S. 2339.
Wnder strait obligacoun He discoverit him till a masoun
1520 Misc. Maitl. C. II 384.
Thaj wil tak pece witht Ingland as is offerit thame straytar than the auld and alluterly aganis France
1527 St. P. Henry VIII IV 483.
[He] has causit strait proclamationis be maid … for the taking or slaying of the saidis misdoaris
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 2099.
Nynus gaif ane strait command Tyll all the peple of that land
1587 Aberd. Council Lett. I 34.
Ye dar not be that bald to interpryis the command gevin to you be the magistratis of the toune
1600-1610 Melvill 315.
It was granted upon certean conditiones verie streat
1600-1610 Melvill 317.
Streat actes maid against Mes-heirars and Papists
c1630 Scot Narr. 107.
Seeing the sincerer sort could not get the maine point recalled, they laboured for the straiter cautions
1636 Cochran-Patrick Coinage II 53.
The saids lords hes made strait acts prohibiting the exporting of anie moneyes furth of the kingdome
1678 Edinb. B. Rec. X 354.
Andrew Mastertoun … [is] to take strait notice that all goods imported to this burgh … be not sold … untill such tyme as [etc.]

b. Of a course of action: More circumscribed. 1513 Doug. i Prol. 290.
To follow a fixt sentens or mater Is mair practike, deficill and far strater … Than forto write all ways at liberte

c. Of a legal instrument, or the manner of its wording: So drafted as to cover every possible contingency; strict; unambiguous; ? peremptory. 1439 Cop. St. A. 178.
The said dene David is oblisit be bodely ath upon the haly ewangelis and straitt borowis [etc.]
1463 Wemyss Chart. II 83.
Be the stratast stile off obligacione that can be … diuisit be mannys wit
1466 Misc. Spald. C. II 251.
In the strattast fovrme of bande of kyndnas
1480 Newbattle Coll. (Somerville).
I bynd & als oblis me & my ayris to the said John … in the stratast stil & mast sekyr furm of obligation that kan be devisit
1482 Wemyss Chart. 99.
1521 Aberd. B. Rec. I xxxv.
To impetrat our souerane lordis lettres in the stratest forme … for lawbourris to be had of the saids Lordis Forbis
1528 Douglas Corr. 129.
In the stratest and maist extreme style can be devisit
1533–4 Acta Conc. & Sess. MS IV 21.
That this be ampliat in stratar wise geif ye think expedient
a1540 Misc. Bann. C. III 42.
This is the nature of Inglismen quhar ever thai mak straytest oblissing of faith and pes
1558-66 Knox II 379.
The summondis war direct against the messe-mongaris with expeditioun, and in the streatest form
1617 Elgin Rec. II 152.
Gif he beis found absent bot ony just occasioun he salbe censurit and put wnder actis in streater forme
1632 Lithgow Trav. x 481.
Hee … obtained a strait warrant to command the gouernour … to deliuer mee ouer in the English hands

7. Of actions, proceedings, treatment (of others): Harsh, repressive. 1375 Barb. iv 6.
His fayis … Maid sic a persecucioune Sa hard sa strayt and sa feloune On thaim that [etc.]
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 91.
Sho was halden in captivitie within hir chalmer that na persoun … mycht come and speik with hir but thaj quhome thaj plesit. And sua the palice of Halyrudhous wes haldin in this streit maner
1584-9 Maxwall Commonpl. Bk. 17b.
Beir nocht ane streyit ringe, that is, ws nocht that quhilk hwrtis thé
1591 Thanes of Cawdor 195.
Bring … your haill syluer with yow uthervayis persuaid your selff that the nondoing thairoff sal be the occasioun of strater deling to be usit
1607 Reg. Privy C. VIII 486.
The Erll of Dunbar had lykewayes complenit of the strait usage of Sir Williame Cranstoun in withholding fra him of the wageis allowit to him

b. Of imprisonment, guarding, etc.: Strictly enforced, rigorous. a1400 Leg. S. xlvi 82.
This fellone seruand … Sa fellonly hire sone can trete In strat ȝemesel & in fewte, that [etc.]
a1400 Leg. S. xlvi 35.
Publy strat kepyn til hir mad
c1409-1436 Kingis Q. § 25.
In strayte ward and in strong prisoun
1456 Hay I 176/21.
Sen men may kepe strayte prisoun and nocht tyne the saule
1547–8 Cal. Sc. P. I 97.
Quhen ever he gois to the yet thair gois x or xij Franche gonares with him becaus of the stratt kyping of it
1568 Hosack Mary Q. of Scots I 528.
Quhilk … solitar state joynit with his povertie and necessitie of neidfull thingis … [was] a strait and miserable ward to ane personage of his byrth
1571 Cal. Sc. P. III 598.
[Bothwell shall be kept in] straitair ward
a1578 Pitsc. I 206/5.
The king … caussit ane strait watch of his airme to stand about the toune that night
1596 Crim. Trials I ii 378.
Keping hir in strait firmanse
1627 Justiciary Cases I 82.
The justice … ordanis the pannell to be tane bak to waird and keipit in strait firmance and captiuitie uithin the tolbuth or wairdhous of Edinburgh
c1650 Spalding I 169.

c. Of a siege: Close. 1375 Barb. xx 8.
[At] Norhame … ane strat assege wes set
c1650 Spalding II 172.
The King, seing no redress anent Hull, he layes ane strait seige thairto

8. Of an account: Exactly rendered; comprehensive. a1400 Leg. S. ii 1101.
Apon the day, Quhen that we sall gif strat reknyng befor the auchtfull iug & king
1456 Hay II 14/34.
Off the quhilkis thai mon ȝelde a strayte compt a day

9. Of a joining-together, friendship, bonds or ties of affection: Tight-knit, close, intimate. 1561 Cal. Sc. P. I 588.
[My great desire to see their two Majesties joined in] a strayte knot [of friendship]
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 170.
Seeing he hath made death to us a farther step to joy, and a moyener of a straiter conjunction
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 183. c1610 Melville Mem. 91.
Sa thir four packit vp a strait and sisterly frendschip betwen the twa quenis
1611-57 Mure True Crucifixe 2963.
The maryed may that strait conjunction see, Of matchlesse loue
1651 Dingwall Presb. 206.
Pastor and people going about there deveres joyallie in ane street harmonie
1686 Dunlop P. III 21.
Adew … thy own in the straihtest tyes of affection

10. Of a person: Tight-fisted, mean. c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. 209.
Strait Gibbonis air that nevir ourstred ane hors

B. adv. 1. Tightly, closely. a1400 Leg. S. xxxiii 288.
Thai that schupe thaim to duel stil, Strat stekine set the ȝettis til
1513 Doug. xi xii 7.
The stampand stedis … Apon thar strait born bridillis brankand fast
a1568 Bann. MS 210b/4.
Look wele about yow lippen hir to none But to your selfe and be ay streight besyd
1581-1623 James VI Poems I 148/656.
The one doth slacke, The other strait doth holde The senewes of weake Adam
1597 James VI Dæmonol. (STS) 27/34.
Why may … not [the Devil] … thicken & obscure so the air, … by contracting it strait together, that [etc.]?

b. With tight bonds of loyalty, allegiance or friendship. a1400 Leg. S. xxxvii 401.
Stratar to God wes he bundine, Thane til oucht in warld wes fundine
1596 Dalr. I 297/1.
This gif ȝe do; strait sall I be bunde to ȝour serenitie in perpetual
1596 Dalr. II 7/14.
So strate vses the knot of vertue to be knutt betueine gud men

2. Of confining, imprisoning, besieging: Securely (so as to prevent escape). Chiefly, to kepe strate. c1420 Wynt. i 603 (W).
Bot mare strait [R. stratly] na thai were ere Inclusit in that place thai were
1572 Cal. Sc. P. IV 377.
The force of Scotland hes lyne about this towne contynually all this ȝere, and hes keipid vs … strait sen Midlent reyn
1582 Declar. Causis 22.
Being … relaxt or kepit strait at thir mennis appetyte
1584 Misc. Wodrow Soc. 420.
The ports of Edinburgh keeped strait
1603 Philotus 597.
For keiping strait baith lait and air. Unsend-furth may I neuer fair
1666 Jurid. Rev. XXIV 26.
I wrote still that tho' she had ability to come she would hardly win in to see me, we were so strait keepit

3. Strictly; rigorously. a1400 Leg. S. xxxv 80.
Fore quhais [saulis] thu mon reknynge Ȝeld [as] strate as for thine
c1490 Irland Asl. MS 72/24.
I haue nocht fastit nor abstenit me fra syn that is maist neidfull and wertuos fasting and stratest commandit
a1538 Abell 109b.
It wes als ane prowerb of him he [sc. James II] kepit iustice sa strait aganis thewis and reweris at he gart the reche bus keip the pure wiffis kow
a1599 Rollock Wks. I 344.
They ar als strait detbund to give him it, as onie debt that ever they aucht to pay

C. noun. 1. A narrow, confined space.There is some overlap with 2. 1375 Barb. ix 569.
His small folk gert he … Vith-draw thame till a strate neir by
c1420 Wynt. i 584 (W).
That … thai [sc. Gog & Magog] mycht be Lovsit of that strait [R. presoun] [sc. imprisonment in a hill] all fre
1548 Corr. M. Lorraine 267.
Nere Dondye ther is a strayth that may be maid very strong and kept with iij or iiij hundryth men

2. A narrow pass among mountains or hills; a defile. 1375 Barb. iv 458 (C).
Syne till a strate thai held thair way
?1438 Alex. i 47.
He that land knew halely. Baith strait, plane and valie
c1420 Wynt. viii 2495.
At Roslyne … Thare in the straittis thai tuk down, And stentyt tent and pawillown
1494 Loutfut MS 132a.
In passing of wattiris stratis & evil waiys the ost mon synd & scaill out of aray
1533 Boece 317b.
[They] occupijt the hals and stratis of Anandale
1596 Dalr. II 145/7.
That the Inglismen … occupiet all straytes and narow passages betuein the Scotis and Scotland
a1639 Spotsw. Hist. (1677) 206.
But when they were past the straight of the hill [etc.]
1668 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds I 226.
Downe the stancke to the streight betuixt the twa buttes abone the Broome knoll

3. A narrow channel of water, a strait.sing. 1375 Barb. iii 688.
As is the rais of Bretangȝe, Or strait off Marrok in-to Spanȝe
1528 Lynd. Dreme 671.
That is callit the see Mediterane, Quhilk at the strait of Marrok hes entre
a1540 Misc. Bann. C. III 37.
Gayell and Scota … past out of Egipt … [then] turnyt thyme and past the strat of Jupiter and at the last come in Spanȝe
pl. 1585 Reg. Privy S. in Orig. Par. II ii 832.
[The] kyles [and] straittis [between Arran and Kintyre, (and between) Ergyle and Bute]
1596 Dalr. II 178/23.
The Gouernour … nocht feiring the Inglis classe, quhilk lay in straytis to tak him be the way
1587 Carmichael Etym. 35.
Angustiae, the straits

4. A narrow strip of land with water on each side, an isthmus. 1632 Lithgow Trav. vi 297.
Diuers have attempted to digge through this strait to make both seas meete for a nearer passage to India

5. A narrow lane, alley or passage. 1569-73 Bann. Memor. 117.
Woddinsday … they began to mak the vther barrace at the strate of the Wester boll [= West Bow]
1570-3 Bann. Trans. 152.
They set foure gabionis at the strait of the Bowe
1596 Dalr. II 174/18.
The hail wyte was laid vpon prouist and bailȝeis … that seing a possest persone … rinn throuch gaites, houses, close, wynes, straits and streits frilie … tha kaist him nocht in prisone
c1646 Craufurd Edinb. Univ. 55.
In the strait of the West Bow was erected a statelie pageant (arched beneath for passadge)

6. fig. a. A difficult or embarrassing situation, a dilemma; a state of distress or hardship, esp. financial. Freq. pl. Also, to put (someone) to the strait, to place in an embarrassing position. b. Difficulty, trouble; penury, ‘straitened circumstances’. Freq. in strate. Also, to do strate to (another), to cause hardship to.a. (1) sing. 1568 Hosack Mary Q. of Scots I 540.
Diuerse noblemen … knawin quhat wes intendit and suitin[g to] eschew the strait ernistlie travellit that they suld not be on his assyse or inqueist
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 1.
Dreuin to this streicht of necessitie
1584 Gowrie P. 26.
Their opinion was, that he would fynd himselfe in a great strait & in perill of his lief
1641 Lord Humes his Speech 4.
The kingdome is likewise reduced to a great strait … for a better commerce and enter-course between this kingdome and England
1661–5 W. Guthrie in Sel. Biog. II 72.
Betide my life, betide my dead, I will venture for them in this their strait
1679 Cramond Kirk S. II 2 Feb.
Georg Spence petitionat the Session … that … he was in a strait by reason of his wifes lying sicke [etc.]
pl. 1597 James VI Dæmonol. (STS) 65/2.
Arme your selues with patience & humility … bearing with these straits that I now fore-shew you as with the finger of God
1600-1610 Melvill 404.
I could sie na better resolutioun then we haid bein upon in all streattes bygean
1612 Highland P. III 124.
The great straitts and extremyteis whervnto I am dreavin [pr. drearin] vpon in place of your Majesties ymployment
1635 Dickson Wr. 6.
The godly … having daily repented … and … kenning no sin unconfessed … when he finds hard straits, he may speir [etc.]
1639 Fugitive Poetry II 102.
Yet all those straits and all those torturing tossings, which I have tryde, I laught them ov'r as sportings
a1652 Dickson Psalms II 124.
As straits do serve to drive the godly more and more neer-hand to God
1654 Wemyss Corr. 100.
If your lordship can procure this, it will keepe me from some straights I am lykly to be driuen to
1656 Johnston Diary (1940) 27.
It was suggested to me that the light both of Protesters and Public Resolutioners was against complyance with the present powers, and that it was but straits as temptatious drawing eyther of them on
1666 Edinb. B. Rec. X 14.
Severall persones of good qualitie in this cittie ar redacted to great straitts
1691 Glasgow B. Rec. IV 9.
They have appointed the proveist to wryte … that the tounes straitts cannot allow ane delay
1698 Glasgow Burgesses 241.
[John Morrison, made Burgess gratis] in respect of his present straits
1719 Rothesay Par. Rec. 348.
Item 4 lib. Scots to Archibald Frow's great straits
(2) 1568 Buch. Indict. 34.
Quhat nobilman at that tym presentit the court bot ains wes put to the strait to gansay as it wer that quhilk he haid spokyn
b. (1) 1587 Rait & Cameron King James's Secret 139.
We are heir in greatest perplexitie and strate that ever men was in, hardlie recueillit of her majestie … and in effect misknawin of our haill acquentance
1652 Johnston Diary II 177.
Whensoever he was in greatest straite
1676 Cramond Kirk S. II 5 Nov.
There was eight pounds Scots ordered to be given to John Matthie as also ten marks to Hew Murray both of thaim being in strait
1689 Cramond Kirk S. III 26 Dec.
Katharin Charity and two fatherlesse children … being in great strait
(2) 1581-1623 James VI Poems II 34/1.
In tymes of straite mott Jehoua giue thee eare
1624 Edinb. Test. LII 234.
Quhat writtis or evidentis throche straitt and neid in defence of my heritage
1655 Brodie Diary 133.
Earl Murray and other families wer redacted to much strait
1669 Fleming Fulfilling Scripture
They trusted God in a day of strait and were not helped
(3) 1516 Thanes of Cawdor 127.
Aganis all utheris that purpos to wex treble or do strait to my said derrest eym

c. At strate. Of a wild animal: At bay. c1590 J. Stewart 62/175.
As bustius boir … finds him self at strait and heitlie bled, Bends vp his birs

d. Shortage, dearth (of something). 1572 Cal. Sc. P. IV 377.
And brought us to sik streit of vittel that the hail … inhabitantes … were brought to extreme hunger
1641 Baillie I 359.
Judge what straite then of men was there, when the lyke of me, who … had declyned to moderate a Presbyterie, was shored to be leeted for to moderate a Generall Assemblie

7. pl. Cloth of single width, as opposed to Brade clathe n. Also attrib. 15.. Christis Kirk 13 (M).
To dance the damisallis thame dicht … Thair gluvis war of the raffell richt Thair schone war of the straitis
attrib. 1609–10 Aberd. Shore Wk. Acc. 60.
Ane schipp of Lewin to Dantsick with sum straitts cloth and lambe skinnes

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Strait adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse DOST: