\ ˈtȯt How to pronounce taut (audio) \

Definition of taut

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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


tauted; tauting; tauts

Definition of taut (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: mat, tangle
variants: or tauto-

Definition of taut- (Entry 3 of 3)

: same tautomerism tautonym

Other Words from taut


tautly adverb
tautness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for taut

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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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.

Examples of taut in a Sentence

Adjective The rope was drawn taut. The book is a taut thriller.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Midpalate of green limes, green apples and a tinge of honey in a wine bathed with taut acidity. Tom Mullen, Forbes, 22 May 2022 In a taut, three-hole aggregate playoff after the 18-hole fourth round ended in a tie, Justin Thomas, 29, held off the 25-year-old rising star Will Zalatoris to win his second P.G.A. Championship. Bill Pennington, New York Times, 22 May 2022 Weilerstein’s lines were pulled taut like the cables of a bridge. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, 20 May 2022 Darcy’s ornate guitar parts coexist comfortably with Cartwright and Stidworthy’s taut rhythms. Ted Davis, SPIN, 19 May 2022 This one set up another taut finish in a series that began with a triple-overtime classic in Game 1 and is now set up for a memorable deciding game back at the Garden. Will Graves, Hartford Courant, 14 May 2022 Reinforcements to the latest GR86's front and rear subframes lend it a more refined, solid-feeling ride that is appropriately taut but not flinty or harsh. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, 28 Apr. 2022 The involvement of Pearce is a wink and a nod to his role in a classic of the memory-affliction subgenre, Memento, a taut and masterful thriller in whose shadow Memory withers. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 Apr. 2022 Creaminess, granted by the mealy texture of russet potatoes, is important; and the outside should be taut and golden. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, 25 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of taut


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a(1)


1721, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for taut


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


origin unknown

Combining form

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

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Time Traveler for taut

Time Traveler

The first known use of taut was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

25 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Taut.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/taut. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for taut


\ ˈtȯt How to pronounce taut (audio) \
tauter; tautest

Kids Definition of taut

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

Other Words from taut

tautly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on taut

Nglish: Translation of taut for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of taut for Arabic Speakers


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