Meaning of STRICT in English

strict S3 /strɪkt/ BrE AmE adjective ( comparative stricter , superlative strictest )

[ Date: 1400-1500 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: strictus , past participle of stringere ; ⇨ ↑ stringent ]

1 . expecting people to obey rules or to do what you say OPP lenient :

a strict teacher

strict about

This company is very strict about punctuality.

strict with

The Stuarts are very strict with their children.

2 . a strict order or rule is one that must be obeyed:

You had strict instructions not to tell anybody.

There are strict limits on presidential campaign contributions.

He’s under strict orders from his doctor to quit smoking.

I’m telling you this in the strictest confidence (=it must be kept completely secret) .

3 . [usually before noun] exact and correct, often in a way that seems unreasonable:

Amy was attractive, although not beautiful in the strictest sense of the word.

4 . obeying all the rules of a religion or set of principles:

He was raised a strict Catholic.

a strict vegetarian

—strictness noun [uncountable]

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)

■ nouns

▪ strict rules/regulations/guidelines

There are strict rules and regulations regarding conduct.

▪ a strict code (=set of rules about what is acceptable)

The club has a strict dress code.


Doctors have a strict code of conduct.

▪ strict limits

Many airlines impose strict limits on the weight of baggage.

▪ strict orders/instructions

He’s left strict instructions not to be disturbed.

▪ strict control

There must be strict control of local government spending.

▪ strict discipline (=rules of behaviour which must be obeyed)

The head teacher insists upon strict discipline throughout the school.

▪ strict requirements

Landlords must comply with strict safety requirements.

▪ strict criteria (=standards that are used for judging someone or making a decision about them)

The supermarket’s suppliers must meet strict criteria.

▪ a strict diet

He went on a strict diet and lost a lot of weight.

■ phrases

▪ in strict confidence/in the strictest confidence (=kept completely secret)

Any information you give will be treated in the strictest confidence.

• • •


▪ strict expecting people to obey rules or to do what you say – used especially about parents, teachers, or organizations:

Our teachers were very strict.


Most schools are quite strict about the way students dress.

▪ firm showing that you are in control of the situation and will not change your opinion, especially when you are telling someone what to do:

You have to be firm with young children.


I’ll be firm with him and tell him he can’t have any more money.

▪ tough determined that your orders or decisions will be obeyed, especially in order to make sure that a situation improves – used especially when you think that someone is right to be strict:

We need a government that is tough on crime.


She can be quite tough with her students, but they respect her for it.


The chancellor has got to be tough and keep government spending down.

▪ stern strict in a serious, disapproving, and rather unfriendly way:

Her grandfather was a stern man who rarely smiled.


Sheila walked into the museum, under the stern gaze of the curator.

▪ harsh punishing or criticizing someone in a way that seems very severe, often too severe:

Don’t be too harsh on her – she’s only a child.


It may seem harsh to punish him, but he has to learn that this kind of behaviour is unacceptable.


Her reaction to the child’s bad behaviour was unnecessarily harsh.

▪ authoritarian disapproving very strict about forcing people to obey rules or laws, and punishing them very severely if they fail to do this – used about people and governments:

Her father was very authoritarian and insisted on total obedience.


an authoritarian government

■ rule/law/system

▪ strict a strict order or rule is one that must be obeyed:

There are strict rules about keeping tax records.


He had strict instructions to return the key to me.

▪ tight tight controls or limits are very strict about what is allowed and what is not allowed:

The report recommends tighter controls on the advertising of alcohol.


There are tight regulations governing waste disposal.

▪ tough tough laws or rules are very strict:

They want tougher laws against drinking and driving.


The federal government is introducing tough new rules on immigration.

▪ harsh harsh punishments or laws are very severe, often too severe:

There are harsh penalties for drug trafficking.


The government has brought in harsh measures to combat the rioting taking place in many cities.

▪ stringent controlling what people can do with rules that have very high standards:

There are now stringent controls on pollution from all power stations.


stringent new food safety regulations

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