in the strict(est) sense

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in the strict(est) sense

Following the narrowest and most precise interpretation (of something). While not correct in the strictest sense, the word has been widely accepted among most English speakers. I wouldn't call her a socialist in the strict sense, but some of her beliefs definitely lean that way.
See also: sense
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?
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).
JPC: To get back to the present, it's striking that of 40 or so canvases you're showing in the Zurich exhibition, not a single one is "figurative," in the strict sense, although you've returned repeatedly to a diverse range of images from nature.