Meaning of STRAIT in English

strait /streɪt/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Origin: strait 'narrow' (13-20 centuries) , from Old French estreit , from Latin strictus ; ⇨ ↑ strict ]

1 . ( also straits [plural] ) a narrow passage of water between two areas of land, usually connecting two seas:

the Bering Strait

2 . be in dire straits to be in a very difficult situation, especially a financial one:

After the war, the country’s economy was in dire straits.

The firm is now in dire financial straits.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.