tight

1 of 2

adjective

1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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
3
a
: 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
5
a
: 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
tightly adverb
tightness noun

tight

2 of 2

adverb

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

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
In the embarrassing case of Jaden Rashada, Billy Napier’s tight ship looks more like the S.S. Minnow that ended up marooned on Gilligan’s Island. Email me at mbianchi@orlandosentinel.com. Mike Bianchi, Orlando Sentinel, 14 Jan. 2023 Moehringer has fashioned the Duke of Sussex’s life story into a tight three-act drama, consisting of his occasionally wayward youth; his decade of military service, which included two tours of duty in Afghanistan; and his relationship with Meghan. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 13 Jan. 2023 But training the staff and renovations on a tight timetable don't go as planned. Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, 13 Jan. 2023 McDaniel picked up her dribble and attempted a tight pass to the middle of the floor. Wilson Moore, The Indianapolis Star, 13 Jan. 2023 In the clip, Rihanna struts towards the camera in a long, feathery green coat and a tight black top with her hair pointed upward in a tree branch-like braid. Jonathan Cohen, SPIN, 13 Jan. 2023 Overall, the inventory of condos in downtown Charleston remains tight, according to an analysis by real-estate website Zillow. Beth Decarbo, WSJ, 13 Jan. 2023 Those tight losses have shown almost as much as Wednesday’s win did. Theo Mackie, The Arizona Republic, 13 Jan. 2023 Fox said the improbable victory over the first-place Stars was particularly satisfying considering the Rangers are in a tight division battle of their own. Dallas News, 12 Jan. 2023
Adverb
The Directors Guild of America has traditionally avoided showdowns with the studios, bargained early and remained tight-lipped about its goals. Los Angeles Times, 17 Jan. 2023 Like much of the cast, Jeremy has kept tight-lipped about season 4 details. Jacqueline Saguin, Good Housekeeping, 16 Jan. 2023 Santos has remained tight-lipped over his resume inconsistencies, often dodging media questions asking him to address the issue. Rachel Schilke, Washington Examiner, 15 Jan. 2023 Finkelstein hopes to attempt his next record with his girlfriend, but is remaining tight lipped about the concept. Lianne Kolirin, CNN, 10 Jan. 2023 As everyone embraced and shook hands with his daughter, Mr. Duterte grimaced, tight-lipped and impatient. Camille Elemia, New York Times, 10 Jan. 2023 The matter is still pending in court, and both parties remain tight-lipped on the procedural details. Tenille Clarke, Essence, 9 Jan. 2023 Fox News Digital also reported that Kerry's office, which has been notably tight-lipped about its staffing and operations, routinely redacts the names of officials who work at the office in information requests. Thomas Catenacci, Fox News, 14 Dec. 2022 White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was tight-lipped Tuesday when pressed during a briefing whether the Biden family Thanksgiving would include discussions about 2024. Alexandra Hutzler, ABC News, 23 Nov. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

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

First Known Use

Adjective

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

Adverb

1680, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near tight

Cite this Entry

“Tight.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tight. Accessed 26 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

tight

1 of 2 adjective
1
: so close in structure as not to allow something (as liquid, gas, or light) to pass through
a tight roof
2
a
: fixed very firmly in place
loosen a tight jar cover
b
: not slack or loose
kept the rope tight
a tight knot
c
: fitting too closely
tight shoes
3
: difficult to get through or out of
in a tight spot
on a tight schedule
4
a
: firm in control
kept a tight hand on affairs
5
: very closely packed or compressed
a tight bale of hay
6
: low in supply : scarce
money is tight just now
tightly adverb
tightness noun

tight

2 of 2 adverb
1
a
: in a tight manner
hold on tight
b
: so as to be tight
shut the door tight
wound the spring tight
2
: in a deep and uninterrupted manner : soundly
sleep tight

More from Merriam-Webster on tight

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