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taut

Syllabification: taut
Pronunciation: /tôt
 
/

Definition of taut in English:

adjective

1Stretched or pulled tight; not slack: the fabric stays taut without adhesive
More example sentences
  • If he has chosen the vines well, they will pull taut and stretch like a natural bungee cord, just enough to gently arrest his fall.
  • The forests were low, and the land stretched tight like taut buffalo skin.
  • The other hand must act as a co-pilot; use it to pull the skin taut and stretched.
Synonyms
tight, stretched, rigid
1.1(Especially of muscles or nerves) tense; not relaxed.
Example sentences
  • My eyes were tight shut but streaming tears, and I felt my face set into taut muscles and tense lines.
  • He said it was tense on board, people were jumpy and nerves were taut.
  • His strong hands rested on her shoulders and began working the taut muscles, causing her to immediately tense.
Synonyms
flexed, tense, hard, solid, firm, rigid, stiff
fraught, strained, stressed, tense
informal uptight
2(Of writing, music, etc.) concise and controlled: a taut text of only a hundred and twenty pages
More example sentences
  • Though there's plenty of brutal, taut music to be found on the record, more often than not, it's filmic, evocative, and remarkably organic.
  • With her taut writing, she never once fails to convey the emotional intensity of her characters' lives.
  • But for the most part the music is taut, suffused with a ragged but determined power that has few equals among their contemporaries.
3(Of a ship) having a disciplined and efficient crew.
Example sentences
  • A taut ship is a happy ship.

Origin

Middle English tought 'distended', perhaps originally a variant of tough.

More
  • tough from (Old English):

    An Old English word related to taut (Middle English) the early spelling of which was tought. As a noun, meaning ‘a rough and violent man or youth’, it dates from the 1860s, in the USA. If you are as tough as old boots you are very sturdy or resilient. The earliest version of the phrase was as tough as leather. Before he became the British prime minister or even party leader, Tony Blair made a speech at the Labour Party Conference in September 1993, when he was Shadow Home Secretary. The speech brought him to public attention and included the words: ‘Labour is the party of law and order in Britain today. Tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime’.

Derivatives

tauten

1
verb
Example sentences
  • This atmospheric thriller, shot almost entirely at night, tautens the suspense like rough hands around a little boy's neck.
  • Apprenticeship as a sub-editor and reporter pared and tautened his prose.
  • Ali's nerves tautened as he noted that the hall was silent.

tautly

2
adverb
Example sentences
  • The ensuing investigation is described as a twisting, suspenseful character-study, tautly written to conceal a surprise ending.
  • This tautly wrought dénouement to Dipped in Shadow serves as the foundation for Harris's latest volume, She, a novel in poetry about the depths of a woman's consciousness.
  • The symphony is played tautly; the introduction is broad and menacing, but the first movement proper (no exposition repeat) is done with grim fire.

tautness

3
noun
Example sentences
  • The structure of the stretcher, the tautness of the canvas and the transparency of the paint contribute to the total effect.
  • The idea is to create resistance between the hips and shoulders so there is a lot of tautness, like a stretched rubber band.
  • Men have so often been associated with tautness and tightness, moving briskly in tubular clothes like robots coated in cloth.

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