adjective \ ˈtȯt \
|Updated on: 16 Jul 2018

Definition of taut

1 a : having no give or slack : tightly drawn
  • a taut rope
b : high-strung, tense
  • taut nerves
2 a : kept in proper order or condition
  • a taut ship
b (1) : not loose or flabby
  • taut muscles
(2) : marked by economy of structure and detail
  • a taut story





Examples of taut in a Sentence

  1. The rope was drawn taut.

  2. The book is a taut thriller.

Recent Examples of taut from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'taut.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

taunt vs. taut

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.

Origin and Etymology of taut

Middle English tought, perhaps from tought, toughth fierce, tough, alteration of tough tough




Definition of taut

tauted; tauting; tauts
: mat, tangle

Origin and Etymology of taut

origin unknown


combining form
variants: or tauto-

Definition of taut-

: same
  • tautomerism
  • tautonym

Origin and Etymology of taut-

Late Latin, from Greek, from tauto the same, contraction of to auto

TAUT Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of taut for English Language Learners

  • : very tight from being pulled or stretched : not loose or slack

  • : firm and strong : not loose or flabby

  • : very tense

TAUT Defined for Kids


adjective \ ˈtȯt \

Definition of taut for Students

tauter; tautest
1 : tightly stretched
  • The rope was pulled taut.
2 : very tense
  • Will waited, suddenly taut with excitement.
  • —Susan Cooper, The Dark is Rising
3 : firm and not flabby
  • taut muscles



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one who attends or assists a leader

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