Strait vs Want - What's the difference?

strait | want | Related terms |

Strait is a related term of want.

As an adjective strait

is (archaic) narrow; restricted as to space or room; close.

As a noun strait

is (geography) a narrow channel of water connecting two larger bodies of water.

As a verb strait

is (obsolete) to put to difficulties.

As an adverb strait

is (obsolete) strictly; rigorously.

As a proper noun want is

a personification of want.




  • (archaic) Narrow; restricted as to space or room; close.
  • * Emerson
  • too strait and low our cottage doors
  • * 1866 , , Aholibah , lines 53-55
  • Sweet oil was poured out on thy head
    And ran down like cool rain between
    The strait close locks it melted in.
  • * 1900 , , To One in Bedlam , lines 3-5
  • Those scentless wisps of straw, that miserably line
    His strait , caged universe, whereat the dull world stares,
    Pedant and pitiful.
  • (archaic) Righteous, strict.
  • to follow the strait and narrow
  • * 1597 , , IV. iii. 79:
  • some certain edicts and some strait decrees
  • * Bible, Acts xxvi. 5 (Rev. Ver.)
  • the straitest sect of our religion
  • (obsolete) Tight; close; tight-fitting.
  • * 1613 , , III. vi. 86:
  • Is not this piece too strait ? / No, no, 'tis well.
  • (obsolete) Close; intimate; near; familiar.
  • * Sir Philip Sidney
  • a strait degree of favour
  • (obsolete) Difficult; distressful; straited.
  • * Secker
  • to make your strait' circumstances yet ' straiter
  • (obsolete) Parsimonious; niggardly; mean.
  • * 1596 , , V. vii. 42:
  • I beg cold comfort, and you are so strait , / And so ingrateful, you deny me that.

    Usage notes

    The adjective is often confused with straight.

    Derived terms

    * straitjacket * strait-laced


    (en noun) (wikipedia strait)
  • (geography) A narrow channel of water connecting two larger bodies of water.
  • The Strait of Gibraltar
  • * De Foe
  • We steered directly through a large outlet which they call a strait , though it be fifteen miles broad.
  • A narrow pass or passage.
  • * Spenser
  • He brought him through a darksome narrow strait / To a broad gate all built of beaten gold.
  • * 1602 , , III. iii. 154:
  • For honour travels in a strait so narrow / Where one but goes abreast.
  • A neck of land; an isthmus.
  • * Tennyson
  • a dark strait of barren land
  • A difficult position (often used in plural).
  • to be in dire straits
  • * South
  • Let no man, who owns a Providence, grow desperate under any calamity or strait whatsoever.
  • * Broome
  • Ulysses made use of the pretense of natural infirmity to conceal the straits he was in at that time in his thoughts.

    Derived terms

    * dire straits


    (en verb)
  • (obsolete) To put to difficulties.
  • (Shakespeare)


    (en adverb)
  • (obsolete) Strictly; rigorously.
  • * 1593 , , III. ii. 20:
  • Proceed no straiter 'gainst our uncle Gloucester





    Alternative forms

    * waunt (obsolete)


    (en verb)
  • To wish for or to desire (something).
  • * , chapter=13
  • , title= The Mirror and the Lamp , passage=And Vickers launched forth into a tirade very different from his platform utterances. He spoke with extreme contempt of the dense stupidity exhibited on all occasions by the working classes. He said that if you wanted to do anything for them, you must rule them, not pamper them. Soft heartedness caused more harm than good.}}
  • * {{quote-magazine, year=2013, month=July-August, author=(Henry Petroski)
  • , title= Geothermal Energy , volume=101, issue=4, magazine=(American Scientist) , passage=Energy has seldom been found where we need it when we want it. Ancient nomads, wishing to ward off the evening chill and enjoy a meal around a campfire, had to collect wood and then spend time and effort coaxing the heat of friction out from between sticks to kindle a flame. With more settled people, animals were harnessed to capstans or caged in treadmills to turn grist into meal.}}
  • * Dryden
  • The disposition, the manners, and the thoughts are all before it; where any of those are wanting' or imperfect, so much ' wants or is imperfect in the imitation of human life.
  • To lack, not to have (something).
  • *, II.3.7:
  • he that hath skill to be a pilot wants' a ship; and he that could govern a commonwealth' wants means to exercise his worth, hath not a poor office to manage.
  • * James Merrick
  • Not what we wish, but what we want , / Oh, let thy grace supply!
  • * Addison
  • I observed that your whip wanted a lash to it.
  • (colloquially with verbal noun as object) To be in need of; to require (something).
  • * 1922 , (Virginia Woolf), (w, Jacob's Room) Chapter 2
  • The mowing-machine always wanted oiling. Barnet turned it under Jacob's window, and it creaked—creaked, and rattled across the lawn and creaked again.
  • (dated) To be in a state of destitution; to be needy; to lack.
  • * Ben Jonson
  • You have a gift, sir (thank your education), / Will never let you want .
  • * Alexander Pope
  • For as in bodies, thus in souls, we find / What wants in blood and spirits, swelled with wind.

    Usage notes

    * This is a catenative verb. See


    * (desire) set one's heart on, wish for, would like * (lack) be without * (require) need, be in need of

    Derived terms

    * I want to know * want-away * wanted * want for * wanting *


  • (countable) A desire, wish, longing.
  • (countable, often, followed by of) Lack, absence.
  • * , King Henry VI Part 2 , act 4, sc. 8:
  • [H]eavens and honour be witness, that no want of resolution in me, but only my followers' base and ignominious treasons, makes me betake me to my heels.
  • * :
  • For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
    For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
    For want of a horse the rider was lost.
    For want of a rider the battle was lost.
    For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
    And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
  • (uncountable) Poverty.
  • * Jonathan Swift
  • Nothing is so hard for those who abound in riches, as to conceive how others can be in want .
  • Something needed or desired; a thing of which the loss is felt.
  • * Paley
  • Habitual superfluities become actual wants .
  • (UK, mining) A depression in coal strata, hollowed out before the subsequent deposition took place.
  • Derived terms

    * want ad