Origin: OE. Straight, streit, OF. Estreit, estroit. See Strait, a.
2. (Science: geography) Specifically: A (comparatively) narrow passageway connecting two large bodies of water; often in the plural; as, the strait, or straits, of Gibraltar; the straits of Magellan; the strait, or straits, of Mackinaw. We steered directly through a large outlet which they call a strait, though it be fifteen miles broad. (De Foe)
4. A condition of narrowness or restriction; doubt; distress; difficulty; poverty; perplexity; sometimes in the plural; as, reduced to great straits. For I am in a strait betwixt two. (Phil. I. 23) Let no man, who owns a providence, grow desperate under any calamity or strait whatsoever. (south) Ulysses made use of the pretense of natural infirmity to conceal the straits he was in at that time in his thoughts. (Broome)