\ ˈtīt How to pronounce tight (audio) \

Definition of tight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : having elements close together a tight formation a tight line of type
b : so close in structure as to prevent passage or escape (as of liquid, gas, or light) a tight ship a tight seal — compare lightproof, watertight
c : fitting very close to the body tight jeans also : too snug tight shoes
d(1) : closely packed : very full a tight bale of hay
(2) : barely allowing time for completion a tight schedule tight deadlines
e : allowing little or no room for free motion or movement a tight connection a tight crawl space also : having a small radius a tight turn
2a : strongly fixed or held : secure a tight jar lid a tight grip on the ladder
b(1) : not slack or loose : taut kept the reins tight a tight knot a tight drumhead also : marked by firmness and muscle tone a tight stomach
(2) : marked by unusual tension (as in the face or body) lips tight with anger a family tight with fear
3a : difficult to cope with in a tight spot financially
b : relatively difficult to obtain money is tight just now also : characterized by such difficulty a tight job market
c : not liberal in giving : stingy tight with a penny
4 : characterized by little difference in the relative positions of contestants with respect to final outcome : close a tight race for mayor
5a : characterized by firmness or strictness in control or application or in attention to details tight security ran a tight newsroom keeps a tight hand on her investments
b : marked by control or discipline in expression or style : having little or no extraneous matter tight writing
c : characterized by a polished style and precise arrangements in music performance
6 : having a close personal or working relationship : intimate is tight with the boss
7 : being such that the subject fills the frame a tight close-up
8 : somewhat drunk
9 chiefly dialectal : capable, competent



Definition of tight (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : fast, tightly, firmly the door was shut tight
2 : in a sound manner : soundly sleep tight

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Other Words from tight


tightly adverb
tightness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for tight

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of tight in a Sentence

Adjective The lid is too tight. I can't loosen it. She made a tight knot in the rope. Keep a tight grip on his hand when you cross the street. Pull the ribbon tight and make a bow. Adverb Is the door shut tight? She screwed the cap on tight. Don't close the lid so tight. We were packed as tight as sardines on the bus.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The Hollywood Reporter examines the tight battles in these acting races. Rebecca Ford, The Hollywood Reporter, "When Co-Stars Are Competitors: Breaking Down This Year's Unprecedented Emmys Race," 6 Aug. 2020 Rosenthal says in the DIY version, that conformation lets the pressure pull the filter tight against the fan. Adam Rogers, Wired, "Could a Janky, Jury-Rigged Air Purifier Help Fight Covid-19?," 6 Aug. 2020 Their children are thriving in the absence of activities, tight schedules, rushed mornings, mundane homework assignments and long days. Meghan Leahy, Washington Post, "My kids seem happier since the pandemic slowed life down. Should I be worried?," 5 Aug. 2020 The rigid gold standard is the antithesis of modern monetary policy, which seeks to increase the supply of money when credit is dangerously tight and decrease it when inflation is eating away the dollar’s value. Editorial Los Angeles Times, Star Tribune, "A recent Trump nominee to the Federal Reserve Board has a thing for gold," 4 Aug. 2020 All Cleanser hasn’t left me with a zit yet, and doesn’t make my skin feel stripped or tight once it’s rinsed off, which are two of the most important aspects of a cleanser for me and my combination skin. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "Road Test: I Tried Rihanna's New Skin-Care Line, Fenty Skin," 4 Aug. 2020 Officials have not said how many of them are locals and have generally been tight-lipped about the process. The Christian Science Monitor, "What India's new residency law means for Kashmiris," 4 Aug. 2020 Consequently, the company's already healthy operating margin showed a slight improvement, consisting of 19.7% of revenue this year, versus 18.9% in 2019's first quarter, which shows the company kept a tight rein on expenses. Ed Christman, Billboard, "Pandemic Exacts Toll on Sony's Music Operations With Double-Digit Revenue Drop," 4 Aug. 2020 Already, money is tight for tech and consumer products startups seeking an initial round of venture funding, known as series A. Mike Freeman, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego startups pull in a record $1.26B in second quarter despite COVID-19," 4 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The offensive-minded Panthers had difficulty generating goals against the tight-checking Islanders. John Wawrow, sun-sentinel.com, "Panthers eliminated from playoffs in Game 4 rout," 7 Aug. 2020 Fox also holds tight on to Kelly with her arm looped around him. Ale Russian, PEOPLE.com, "Megan Fox Tells Machine Gun Kelly ‘My Heart Is All Yours’ in First Instagram Picture Together," 5 Aug. 2020 Sprinkle some more salt and a grinding of pepper, then place a tight-fitting lid over the skillet. Marianna Cerini, Bon Appétit, "Eggs "Alla Pizzaiola" Are Pizza-Style Eggs and Yes, They’re As Good As They Sound," 31 July 2020 In a container with a tight-fitting lid, combine vinegar, oil, sugar, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. Darlene Zimmerman, Detroit Free Press, "In 17 years of writing recipes, I'd never used this ingredient — until now," 30 July 2020 Remaining tight-lipped with the media has been the couple's MO for the duration of Turner's pregnancy. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas Reportedly Welcome a Baby Girl," 27 July 2020 Imagine the center of the box to be the true value of X, Y and Z, and the tight-fitting box to be the range of our best guesses regarding each parameter by itself. Ben Klemens, Scientific American, "The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle of Social Science Modeling," 7 July 2020 Many of us have been taught since kindergarten that American society is founded on liberty and justice for all — and a not-insignificant portion of our country holds tight to that idea. Lizz Schumer, Good Housekeeping, "What White Privilege Really Means — and How to Work on It," 29 June 2020 Rumi and Sir look like, the Carter-Knowles have been quite tight-lipped as to any additional info about the new twins. Lilian Min, Redbook, "Beyoncé and JAY-Z Twins' Birth Certificates Finally Share Some Birth Details," 20 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tight.' 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 tight


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1680, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tight


Middle English tiht, thyht dense, solid, watertight, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse thēttr tight; akin to Middle High German dīhte thick, Sanskrit tanakti it causes to coagulate

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Time Traveler for tight

Time Traveler

The first known use of tight was in the 14th century

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Statistics for tight

Last Updated

9 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tight.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tight. Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for tight


How to pronounce tight (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of tight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: difficult to move : fastened, attached, or held in a position that is not easy to move
: fitting very close to your body
: flat or firm from being pulled or stretched



English Language Learners Definition of tight (Entry 2 of 2)

: in a tight way


\ ˈtīt How to pronounce tight (audio) \
tighter; tightest

Kids Definition of tight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : very closely packed or compressed a tight bundle a tight fist
2 : fixed or held very firmly in place a tight jar cover
3 : fitting too closely tight shoes
4 : firmly stretched or drawn : taut Pull the rope until it's tight.
5 : difficult to get through or out of I'm in a tight spot.
6 : firm in control She keeps a tight hand on affairs.
8 : low in supply : scarce Money is tight until I get paid.
9 : painfully or uncomfortably tense a tight throat
10 : barely allowing enough time a tight schedule

Other Words from tight

tightly adverb
tightness noun



Kids Definition of tight (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : in a firm, secure, or close manner Shut the door tight. Hold on tight.
2 : in a deep and uninterrupted manner : soundly Sleep tight.

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More from Merriam-Webster on tight

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tight

Spanish Central: Translation of tight

Nglish: Translation of tight for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tight for Arabic Speakers

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