in the strict sense

in the strict sense

also in the strictest sense
according to the most limited and exact meaning of a word or idea “Conservative” in the strict sense of the word is not a label that fits her. The novel is not tragic in the strictest sense, but it is certainly full of sadness.
Usage notes: usually used to say that someone or something does not have the characteristics of this limited meaning
See also: sense, strict
References in classic literature ?
I shall not make the attempt, my dear man; but to avoid any misunderstanding occurring between us in future, let me ask, in what sense do you speak of a ruler or stronger whose interest, as you were saying, he being the superior, it is just that the inferior should execute-- is he a ruler in the popular or in the strict sense of the term?
And the pilot likewise, in the strict sense of the term, is a ruler of sailors and not a mere sailor?
In the present book, it should perhaps be added, the word Literature is generally interpreted in the strict sense, as including only writing of permanent significance and beauty.
In the strict sense of the word I am not a Wizard, but only a humbug.
It is the form which gives "knowledge" in the strict sense, and also error.
has discerned over the centuries that among liturgical celebrations there are seven that are, in the strict sense of the term, Sacraments instituted by the Lord" (#1117).