Definition of taut
- a taut ship
- taut muscles
- a taut story
The rope was drawn taut.
The book is a taut thriller.
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Taunt and taut may easily be confused. The words are similar in spelling and pronunciation, though the resemblance does not extent to their syntax or meanings. Taut is an adjective that is most often used to refer to something that is pulled tight, like "a taut rope," or is bulging or filled to capacity, like "taut muscles." Taunt is a noun and a verb that refers to teasing or making fun of a person. That the two words sound similar creates confusion, and taunt, being the more common word, is sometimes substituted for taut. You can remember the difference between the two by remembering that tight and taut both lack the n of taunt.
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
First Known Use: 1721See Words from the same year
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Confusing Words—A Quiz