up·​tight ˈəp-ˈtīt How to pronounce uptight (audio)
: being tense, nervous, or uneasy
uptight overachievers
: rigidly conventional
an uptight conservative
: being in financial difficulties
uptightness noun

Examples of uptight in a Sentence

If our flight is delayed, there's nothing we can do. There's no reason to get so uptight about it. I don't know why people are so uptight about sex.
Recent Examples on the Web If the host is uptight and nervous, everybody else will be that way too. Abby Wilson, Better Homes & Gardens, 6 Sep. 2023 The physique and the woman’s nationality—Maltese—somehow precipitates something in the story between this rather English mother and daughter, the elegant, charming, louche mother and the uptight daughter. Deborah Treisman, The New Yorker, 3 Sep. 2023 If the atmosphere was excited but uptight over the first two evenings, this is somewhere between pagan solstice and jazz funeral. Jeff Weiss, Spin, 21 Aug. 2023 Merrill drives Maxine—a nod to both Mad Max and the Stephen King horror novel Christine—a few times a week, getting waves, giving out stickers, and thumbing his nose at anyone who's too uptight to enjoy a monster mashup. Elana Scherr, Car and Driver, 29 July 2023 The show pitted Fran's free-wheeling, spirited style against the uptight manners of her employers, with a dose of sentimentality thrown in. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, 17 July 2023 Unlike Beast, Prince Eric is friendly and personable with palace staff and has a chummy relationship with his uptight adviser, Grimsby. Barbara Vandenburgh, USA TODAY, 28 May 2023 The ladies shake loose their uptight Brentwood sensibilities for the Italian way of life, follow the signs like Coelho’s protagonist, and a spontaneous drink with a handsome stranger, Ousmane (Hugh Quarshie), leads to a serendipitous dinner party and a visitor from the past. Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2023 William is a highly successful pediatric surgeon, a little uptight but living a good life with his family in London. Chris Vognar, Rolling Stone, 13 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'uptight.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1934, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of uptight was in 1934

Dictionary Entries Near uptight

Cite this Entry

“Uptight.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/uptight. Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


up·​tight ˈəp-ˈtīt How to pronounce uptight (audio)
: being tense, nervous, or uneasy

More from Merriam-Webster on uptight

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