Meaning of “strict” in the English Dictionary

american-english dictionary

"strict" in British English

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strictadjective

uk /strɪkt/ us /strɪkt/

B1 strongly limiting someone's freedom to behave as they wish, or likely to severely punish someone if they do not obey:

My parents were very strict with me when I was young.
Stricter controls on air pollution would help to reduce acid rain.
A strict curfew has been imposed from dusk till dawn.
We follow very strict guidelines on the use and storage of personal details on computers.
Do you think stricter gun laws would reduce the murder rate in the United States?
The drug should only be administered under strict medical supervision.
The negotiations took place in strict (= total) secrecy.
See also

C2 exactly correct:

a strict translation of the text
He would be found guilty under a strict interpretation of the law.

B2 used to refer to someone who follows the rules and principles of a belief or way of living very carefully and exactly, or a belief or principle that is followed very carefully and exactly:

His parents were strict Catholics.
She's a strict vegetarian and refuses to eat any poultry or fish.
in the/a strict sense

in the most limited meaning of a word, phrase, etc.:

These were not funerals in the strict sense of the word; there were no caskets or physical remains.
This peasant economy should not be considered "subsistence" in a strict sense.

More examples

  • Security checks have become really strict at the airport.
  • The club has a strict code of conduct.
  • The laws controlling drugs are very strict in this country.
  • He grew up in a strict church-going family.
  • He had been a strict father but was indulgent towards his grandchildren.

(Definition of “strict” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"strict" in American English

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strictadjective [ -er/-est only ]

us /strɪkt/

limiting people’s freedom to behave as they wish beyond what is usual:

Do you think stricter laws would help reduce automobile accidents?
He’s not a vegetarian in the strictest sense (= if you are exact about the word’s meaning).

(Definition of “strict” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)