taut

1 of 3

adjective

1
a
: having no give or slack : tightly drawn
a taut rope
b
: high-strung, tense
taut nerves
2
a
: kept in proper order or condition
a taut ship
b(1)
: not loose or flabby
taut skin
(2)
: marked by economy of structure and detail
a taut story
tautly adverb
tautness noun

taut

2 of 3

verb

tauted; tauting; tauts

transitive verb

Scotland
: mat, tangle

taut-

3 of 3

combining form

variants or tauto-
: same
tautomerism
tautonym

Examples of taut in a Sentence

Adjective The rope was drawn taut. The book is a taut thriller.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
The towers were a specific architectural reference that didn’t look specific at all, a forceful abstract pattern with the subtlest of concessions to perspective, a taut graphic device that hit the eye like a logo — a logo for nothing but itself. Will Heinrich, New York Times, 28 Mar. 2024 Through the use of sound (the storm lashes on throughout the night) and shadowy cinematography, a great sense of unease cloaks this taut bone-chiller, a chamber piece played to perfection by its two leads. Randy Myers, The Mercury News, 20 Mar. 2024 Like an old friend with exceptional plastic surgery, the British marque’s latest model appears more taut but the underlying bone structure is still there. Basem Wasef, Robb Report, 9 Mar. 2024 Omar held up his hand and kept the rope taut with the other. Jared Lemus, The Atlantic, 9 Mar. 2024 The agents were yanking her out of the cell and away from her kids, but her eyes remained fixed on the taut, trembling fingers of her boys, who clutched her clothes until their grips broke. Jonathan Blitzer, The New Yorker, 28 Jan. 2024 There was no counter for the onslaught Utah unleashed on the way to a 90-44 victory at the Huntsman Center after the Utes turned a relatively taut game into a runaway over the final 15 minutes. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 12 Jan. 2024 Run is a taut thriller that feels like an elevated Lifetime movie in all the right ways. Andrew Walsh, EW.com, 25 Nov. 2023 As for the eggplant, choose vegetables with shiny, taut skin and firm stems. Emily Horton, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024

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

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

Middle English tought, perhaps from tought, toughth fierce, tough, alteration of tough tough

Verb

origin unknown

Combining form

Late Latin, from Greek, from tauto the same, contraction of to auto

First Known Use

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a(1)

Verb

1721, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of taut was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near taut

Cite this Entry

“Taut.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/taut. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

taut

adjective
ˈtȯt
1
a
: drawn to the limit : not slack
taut rope
b
: high-strung, tense
taut nerves
2
: kept in proper order or condition
a taut ship
tautly adverb
tautness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on taut

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