tighten

verb
tight·​en | \ ˈtī-tᵊn How to pronounce tighten (audio) \
tightened; tightening\ ˈtīt-​niŋ How to pronounce tightening (audio) , ˈtī-​tᵊn-​iŋ \

Definition of tighten

intransitive verb

: to become tight or tighter
tighten one's belt
: to practice strict economy

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Other Words from tighten

tightener \ ˈtīt-​nər How to pronounce tightener (audio) , ˈtī-​tᵊn-​ər \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for tighten

Synonyms

strain, stretch, tauten, tense

Antonyms

loosen, slack, slacken

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Examples of tighten in a Sentence

She tightened her hold on the handle. tighten the straps on the backpack so that the load doesn't shift while hiking

Recent Examples on the Web

After slipping on an Oculus headset and tightening the velcro straps around my temple, I’m greeted by a boot screen, basically a white expanse in every direction, punctuated by black dots to form a grid. Patrick Sisson, Vox, "In Walmart’s virtual reality simulation, Black Friday never ends," 15 Nov. 2018 By tightening Safari defaults, the company has pushed back against web-tracking in real and powerful ways. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "Tim Cook wants a federal privacy law — but so do Facebook and Google," 24 Oct. 2018 In 2016, Russia amended its antiterrorism laws tightening restrictions on religious groups, particularly smaller sects, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses. Ann M. Simmons, WSJ, "Russia Seizes Property From Jehovah’s Witnesses After Banning Group," 6 Mar. 2019 The tightening spec for these fasteners requires two stages. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "How to Use a Torque Wrench to Keep Your Car from Flying Apart," 26 Feb. 2019 Dozens of nations have recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido’s claim to the presidency and the U.S. has tightened sanctions aimed at cutting off billions of dollars in oil revenue. Scott Smith, The Seattle Times, "Venezuela’s crisis hits stand-still over emergency aid," 12 Feb. 2019 In other emotional support animal news, most dogs and cats are still allowed on most domestic flights as emotional support animals (with proper documentation), though airlines have tightened their rules on more...eccentric animals. Bridget Hallinan, Condé Nast Traveler, "New Orleans' Airport Lets You Pet Baby Alligators for Emotional Support," 26 Nov. 2018 Russia annexed the peninsula from Ukraine nearly five years ago and has since tightened its grip on it. Alex Ward, Vox, "Russia just openly attacked Ukraine. That could mean their war will get worse.," 26 Nov. 2018 Changing all four tires means undoing 20 of those nuts, then tightening another 20, and more visible nuts make for faster pit stops, as well as making clean up afterward easier. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Open mind, wide open throttle: We go to our first NASCAR race," 15 Nov. 2018

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

circa 1727, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Statistics for tighten

Last Updated

24 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for tighten

The first known use of tighten was circa 1727

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More Definitions for tighten

tighten

verb

English Language Learners Definition of tighten

: to make (something) tight or tighter or to become tight or tighter

tighten

verb
tight·​en | \ ˈtī-tᵊn How to pronounce tighten (audio) \
tightened; tightening

Kids Definition of tighten

: to make or become tight He tightened his grip.

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More from Merriam-Webster on tighten

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tighten

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tighten

Spanish Central: Translation of tighten

Nglish: Translation of tighten for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tighten for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tighten

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