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straits

  

      n     (sometimes singular)   
1    crisis, difficulty, dilemma, distress, embarrassment, emergency, extremity, hardship, hole     (slang)   mess, panic stations     (informal)   pass, perplexity, plight, predicament, pretty or fine kettle of fish     (informal)  
2    channel, narrows, sound  
English Collins Dictionary - English synonyms & Thesaurus  
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strait

  
  ( straits    plural  )
1       n-count; n-in-names   You can refer to a narrow strip of sea which joins two large areas of sea as a strait or thestraits.  
An estimated 1600 vessels pass through the strait annually., ...the Straits of Gibraltar.     
2       n-plural   If someone is in dire or desperate straits, they are in a very difficult situation, usually because they do not have much money.  
adj N  
The company's closure has left many small businessmen in desperate financial straits.     


strait-laced      , straight-laced, straitlaced  
If you describe someone as strait-laced, you disapprove of them because they have very strict views about what kind of behaviour is moral or acceptable.      adj  
  (disapproval)   
He was criticised for being boring, strait-laced and narrow-minded...     

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