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[[File:|thumb|200px|left|Diagram of a strait]] A strait or straits is a narrow, navigable channel of water that connects two larger navigable bodies of water. It most commonly refers to a channel of water that lies between two land masses, but it may also refer to a navigable channel through a body of water that is otherwise not navigable, for example because it is too shallow, or because it contains an unnavigable reef or archipelago.

Contents

Terminology

The terms strait, channel, passage, sound, and firth can be synonymous and interchangeable, although each is sometimes differentiated with varying senses. Many straits are economically important. Straits can lie on important shipping routes, and wars have been fought for control of these straits. Numerous artificial channels, called canals, have been constructed to connect two bodies of water over land.

Although rivers and canals often form a bridge between two large lakes or a lake and a sea, and these seem to suit the formal definition of straits, they are not usually referred to as straits. Straits are typically much larger, wider structures.

Comparisions

Straits are the converse of isthmi. That is, while straits lie between two land masses and connect two larger bodies of water, isthmi lie between two bodies of water and connect two larger land masses.

A strait is similar to an inlet although inlets typically pass through island land masses usually from a large body of water such as an ocean to a much smaller body such as a bay while straits pass through much larger land masses and connect much larger bodies of water such as seas and oceans.

Tidal power

Some straits have the potential to generate significant tidal power using tidal stream turbines. Tides are more predictable than wave power or wind power. The Pentland Firth (actually a strait) may be capable of generating 10 GW.[1] Cook Strait in New Zealand may be capable of generating 12GW.[2]

Well-known straits

File:Strait of
The Strait of Gibraltar
(North is to the left: Spain is on the left and Morocco on the right.)

Well-known straits in the world include:

References

  1. ^ "Marine Briefing" (December 2006) Scottish Renewables Forum. Glasgow.
  2. ^ Renewable energy development: Tidal Energy: Cook Strait
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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Sketch of a strait connecting two larger bodies of water.

Etymology

From Middle English streit, from Old French estreit (modern form étroit), from Latin strictus, perfect passive participle of stringō (compress, tighten). Doublet of strict.

Pronunciation

Homophones

Adjective

strait

  1. (archaic) narrow; restricted as to space or room; close
    • 1866, Algernon Swinburne, 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.
  2. (archaic) righteous, strict
    To follow the strait and narrow

Usage notes

The adjective is often confused with straight.

Derived terms

Noun

Singular
strait

Plural
straits

strait (plural straits)

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Wikipedia

  1. (geography) A narrow channel of water connecting two larger bodies of water.
    The Strait of Gibraltar
  2. A difficult position (often used in plural)
    To be in dire straits

Derived terms

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Anagrams


Simple English

A strait is a narrow, navigable channel of water that connects two larger navigable bodies of water. It most commonly means a channel of water that lies between two land masses, but it may also mean a navigable channel through a body of water that is not navigable, for example because it is too shallow, or because it contains an unnavigable reef or archipelago. The terms strait, channel, passage, sound and firth can be synonymous, but each is sometimes used with a slight difference of meaning. Many straits are economically important. Straits can lie on important shipping routes, and wars have been fought for control of these straits. Many artificial channels, called canals, have been constructed to connect two bodies of water over land.

Although rivers and canals often form a bridge between two large lakes or a lake and a sea, they are not usually referred to as straits. Straits are typically much larger, wider structures that do not have water running in a single direction, and normally connect two seas.

Well-known straits

Well-known straits in the world are:

Other pages

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