taut

adjective
\ 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

taut

verb
tauted; tauting; tauts

Definition of taut (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

Scotland
: mat, tangle
variants: or tauto-

Definition of taut- (Entry 3 of 3)

: same tautomerism tautonym

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Other Words from taut

Adjective

tautly adverb
tautness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for taut

Synonyms: Adjective

rigid, tense, tight

Antonyms: Adjective

lax, loose, slack

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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

Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco The Year: 1956 The Look: Leave it to Grace Kelly, who accented a taut twist with a long, lace veil, to deliver one of the best wedding hairstyles of all time. 14. Vogue, "The Best Wedding Hair Styles of All Time, From Brigitte Bardot to Diana Ross," 26 Apr. 2019 Her skin is as taut as an Apple laptop, and her thick, not-at-all-menopausal hair radiates with synthetic luster. Brennan Kilbane, Allure, "Barbie's 60th Birthday Wish Was to Be More Inclusive. Now What?," 2 May 2019 Also, during certain parts of the treatment your skin is pulled taut, so even a light press on a full bladder can be uncomfortable. Amber Katz, Glamour, "12 Things Your Bikini Waxer Wants You to Know," 24 Mar. 2019 Its taut tale of the ravaging effects of jealousy has not been intrusively styled, as so many productions of Shakespeare are today, in a mode of searing contemporary relevance. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: A Cool-Tempered ‘Othello’ for Warm Central Park Nights," 18 June 2018 For many in the captivating show, a daily ritual emerged from the practical need to keep the hand limber and the muscles of observation taut. Leah Ollman, latimes.com, "One bed photo per day, for years and years: Mesmerizing moments from an art show about daily life," 9 Apr. 2018 One of the things that makes The Conformist so tense and taut is that the film’s aesthetic and composition visually surrounds the viewer, trapping us, alongside Marcello, within the increasingly distorted horror that his reality has become. Aja Romano, Vox, "Why Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Conformist still resonates today," 3 Dec. 2018 To create a smooth line, hold your finger to make the skin around your eye taut, but don't tug. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "How to Apply Eyeliner That's Even, Straight, and Really, Really Pretty," 23 Jan. 2019 The taut drama about two Russian spies leading an undercover life as an American couple was relatively unappreciated when awards were handed out each year. David Bauder, The Seattle Times, "‘The Americans’ gets going-away present from Globes," 7 Jan. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of taut

Adjective

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

Verb

1721, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for taut

Adjective

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

Verb

origin unknown

Combining form

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

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Dictionary Entries near taut

Taurus

tauryl

tau-saghyz

taut

taut-

tauten

taut helm

Statistics for taut

Last Updated

21 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for taut

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

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More Definitions for taut

taut

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of taut

: very tight from being pulled or stretched : not loose or slack
: firm and strong : not loose or flabby
: very tense

taut

adjective
\ 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on taut

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with taut

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for taut

Spanish Central: Translation of taut

Nglish: Translation of taut for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of taut for Arabic Speakers

Comments on taut

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