\ 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 practice harks to an era when powerful studios wanted to make sure their actors were continually available to maintain tight production schedules. Anousha Sakoui, Los Angeles Times, "Proposed California law would give actors and music artists more labor protections," 29 Mar. 2021 And while Houston’s poor shooting seemed to just be good fortune for the Orange, all 25% of Syracuse’s makes seemingly came on tight coverage from Houston. Michael Mccleary, The Indianapolis Star, "Syracuse loses bracket-busting shooting touch, shoots 28% in Sweet 16 loss to Houston," 28 Mar. 2021 And for those properties, buyers will most likely be looking at one-bedrooms of less than 1,000 square feet or extremely tight two-bedrooms. Annie Vainshtein, San Francisco Chronicle, "San Francisco vs. Oakland: What does a $1 million 'starter condo' look like?," 28 Mar. 2021 Kiser was working alongside Quentin Wilfawn with the first-team defense on Saturday, while Sefcik was aligned with holdover Brandon Crum in two tight-end sets. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, "South Alabama practices in full pads for first time this spring," 27 Mar. 2021 This group played for each other and that’s what gave them the edge in the tight games. Gary Curreri, sun-sentinel.com, "Broward 5A-2A girls soccer first team, second team, honorable mention, coach of the year," 27 Mar. 2021 The Pride used a three-goal second period and tight defense to power into the lead, becoming the first team to win the NWHL championship a second time. Rachel Blount, Star Tribune, "Whitecaps fall to Boston 4-3 in Isobel Cup final," 27 Mar. 2021 The outlook for tight supply also helped drive up prices of other platinum-group metals. Eddie Spence, Fortune, "This extremely rare metal is outperforming all commodities—and Bitcoin, too," 27 Mar. 2021 Look closer, though, and German-Russian business ties remain tight. The Economist, "German-Russian business Deutschland AG’s enduring bet on Russia," 27 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Satyricon held tight to a Portland that had a small national footprint but was alive and vital even though the New York Times didn’t want to write about it. oregonlive, "Legendary Satyricon club offered sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll, epitomized a Portland that is gone forever," 16 Mar. 2021 Leave the fish and sawdust layers in place, and fill the bucket to the top with water and cap with a tight-fitting lid. Tim Macwelch, Outdoor Life, "8 Wild Game and Fish Parts That Will Fertilize Your Garden," 26 Feb. 2021 To make a common mask even more effective, experts suggest putting on a paper mask — such as a common blue surgical mask — and then covering it with a tight-fitting cloth mask. Los Angeles Times, "Need a hug or a dinner party? Here’s what you can do if you’re fully vaccinated," 25 Feb. 2021 Tampa Bay’s aggressive young defensive backs held tight in coverage, allowing Mahomes few opportunities to improvise, and Kansas City’s offense was a shell of itself. Benjamin Hoffman, New York Times, "What We Learned From Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl Victory," 7 Feb. 2021 My mother held me tight in her arms with each explosion. Uwe Stuecher, Star Tribune, "The America that liberated me has the strength to overcome," 12 Nov. 2020 Several Biden reporters pointed out that the campaign held tight to a strategy that shrugged off daily Twitter-sized controversies and focused on big themes instead. Brian Stelter, CNN, "'Surreal.' Reporters share what it was like to cover the Trump and Biden campaigns," 3 Nov. 2020 Taken on an unidentifiable track, her leash is held tight at the collar by a man who is cut off at the torso. Ashley Stimpson, Longreads, "Shades of Grey," 31 Oct. 2020 While the author and her husband have held tight to their core convictions, a number of their guests drifted further right to the nationalist Law and Justice party. Barbara Spindel, The Christian Science Monitor, "The reasons why democracy is in decline around the world," 31 Aug. 2020

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

31 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tight.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tight. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for tight



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

Nglish: Translation of tight for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tight for Arabic Speakers

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