\ 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 South African government recently reimposed and extended tight restrictions, including a nightly nationwide curfew, school closures, a ban gatherings and limits on alcohol sales. Morgan Winsor And Liezl Thom, ABC News, 14 July 2021 The lack of fans and the tight coronavirus restrictions in Tokyo means Djokovic remains on the fence about traveling to Japan. BostonGlobe.com, 11 July 2021 Dressage begins July 24, despite tight COVID-19 restrictions that now include no fans after Tokyo declared a state of emergency. San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 July 2021 Even more industrialized nations, such as the U.K., are struggling to contain the virus, despite relatively tight restrictions and vaccine progress. Maria Elena Vizcaino, Fortune, 5 July 2021 Here’s how to banish static electricity, naturally, in the dryer: Crumple a couple foot-long pieces of aluminum foil into tight balls and toss them into the dryer. Washington Post, 15 July 2021 These were two of the many, many brilliant stage looks flaunted by the Queen of Motown that helped make the jumpsuit -- usually of the glittering and skin-tight variety -- a dazzling sartorial choice for female artists ever since. CNN, 15 July 2021 At Bay District Schools in Florida’s Panhandle, students will no longer be allowed to wear V-neck shirts; open-toe shoes; or tops that are altered, sleeveless, or too sheer or tight, the Panama City News Herald reported. orlandosentinel.com, 15 July 2021 Winning tight games has been the difference throughout July. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, 15 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Sofya Velikaya was tight early, but then Velikaya pulled away late for a 15-8 victory. oregonlive, 26 July 2021 The game in Anaheim was air-tight all the way, and the Wildcats eventually fell in overtime 64-63 as Nick Johnson’s 18-footer in the closing second missed. Mark Faller, The Arizona Republic, 21 July 2021 The previously undisclosed details of the al-Rauf raid contribute to a picture of how tight al Qaeda's bonds with the Taliban are, according to one senior Afghan intelligence official speaking to CNN. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, 28 May 2021 The cap is air- and water-tight as it is made from stainless steel. Chris Hachey, BGR, 19 May 2021 Romantic notions might grab you by the hair and hold you tight. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, 30 June 2021 In the meantime, Hartwell said, the Aggies players have been asked to hold tight on putting their names in the NCAA Transfer Portal until the coaching decision is made. Alex Vejar, The Salt Lake Tribune, 29 Mar. 2021 The passage of a snowmachine, a pair of skis or a pounding by a stiff wind causes snow crystals to fracture into small, sharp particles that bond together and hold on tight. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, 13 Mar. 2021 As the teams exited the Garden floor at halftime, Creighton associate athletic director Mark Burgers pulled McDermott aside, telling him to hold tight. USA Today, 11 Mar. 2021

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

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

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Last Updated

29 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tight.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tight. Accessed 30 Jul. 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on tight

Nglish: Translation of tight for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tight for Arabic Speakers


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