straitjacket (plural straitjackets)

  1. A jacket-like garment with very long sleeves which can be secured in place, thus preventing the wearer from moving his or her arms. Often used in psychiatric hospitals to prevent patients from injuring themselves or others.
    Synonyms: straitwaistcoat
  2. (figurative) Any situation seen as confining or restricting.
    • 2009, Michael Giffin, Quadrant, November 2009, No. 461 (Volume LIII, Number 11), Quadrant Magazine Limited, page 99:
      [I]f we remain in one discipline, we remain in a straitjacket; an adequate theory of language evolution requires a lot of interdisciplinary work.
  • French: camisole de force
  • German: Zwangsjacke
  • Italian: camicia di forza
  • Portuguese: colete de forças, camisa de força (Brazil)
  • Russian: смири́тельная руба́шка
  • Spanish: camisa de fuerza

straitjacket (straitjackets, present participle straitjacketing; past and past participle straitjacketed)

  1. (literally) To put someone into a straitjacket#Noun|straitjacket.
  2. (by extension) To restrict the freedom of, either physically or psychologically.

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