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Borrowed from Late Latin strictūra, from Latin strictus.


  • IPA(key): /ˈstɹɪkt͡ʃə(ɹ)/
  • enPR: strĭk'chər
  • Rhymes: -ɪktʃə(ɹ)
    • (file)


stricture (countable and uncountable, plural strictures)

  1. (usually in the plural) A rule restricting behaviour or action.
    Synonyms: constraint, restriction, restraint
    • 1855, Anthony Trollope, chapter 20, in The Warden:
      To his eyes it had no attraction; it savoured of simony, and was likely to bring down upon him harder and more deserved strictures than any he had yet received: he positively declined to become vicar of Puddingdale under any circumstances.
    • 2013, Elaine Constantine, Gareth Sweeney, Northern Soul: An Illustrated History, Random House, →ISBN, page 12:
      For many young people throughout Britain in the 1970s, Northern Soul became a truly alternative lifestyle with the rites and values of the scene replacing many of the traditional strictures of society.
    • 2014, Astra Taylor, chapter 6, in The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, Henry Holt and Company, →ISBN:
      Even venerable print publications seem to accept that old strictures no longer apply when they move online.
  2. A general state of restrictiveness on behavior, action, or ideology.
    I just couldn't take the stricture of that place a single day more.
  3. A sternly critical remark or review.
    • 1889, William Sharp, chapter 2, in Life of Robert Browning[1]:
      When he read the poem to his parents, upon its conclusion, both were much impressed by it, though his father made severe strictures upon its lack of polish, its terminal inconcision, and its vagueness of thought.
  4. (medicine) Abnormal narrowing of a canal or duct in the body.
    Coordinate terms: stenosis, atresia, impatency, imperforation
    • 1914, Edgar Rice Burroughs, chapter XVIII, in The Mucker[2], All-Story Cavalier Weekly:
      Even in the brief moment of his entrance into the magnificence of Anthony Harding's home he had felt a strange little stricture of the throat—a choking, half-suffocating sensation.
  5. (obsolete) Strictness.
  6. (obsolete) A stroke; a glance; a touch.
    • a. 1677, Matthew Hale, The Primitive Origination of Mankind, Considered and Examined According to the Light of Nature, London: [] William Godbid, for William Shrowsbery, [], published 1677, →OCLC:
      But whatever may be said of other matters , certainly the first draughts and strictures of Natural Religion and Morality are naturally in the Mind
  7. (linguistics) The degree of contact, in consonants.

Related terms[edit]





  1. vocative masculine singular of strictūrus