- 1Fixed, fastened, or closed firmly; hard to move, undo, or open: she twisted her handkerchief into a tight knot I prised the tight lid off with my knifeMore example sentences
- Giving it to Lior, Shumba watched as the guard drew closer to Amenra, her graying blond curls fastened in a tight knot along her gold enclosed neck.
- Just then, there was a short knock and the door swung open to reveal his mother, undoing her tight, business-like bun.
- She can't open cans or bottles if the lid is tight, and she's had to give up needlepoint.
- 1.1(Of clothes or shoes) close-fitting, especially uncomfortably so: the dress was too tight for her a tight-fitting topMore example sentences
- Never ride in cold weather with tight boots or shoes, nor close-fitting gloves.
- Also tighten your shoes well and wear tight socks so that they will not come out of the shoes.
- Don't wear tight clothing or shoes that can cause pressure and blistering.
- 1.2(Of a grip) very firm: she released her tight hold on the dog • figurative presidential advisers keep a tight grip on domestic policyMore example sentences
- Flynn wants to keep a tight grip on the purse strings.
- Not only do they survive childbirth and carrying heavy loads, they know how to keep a tight grip on luck, love and happiness.
- He reached up and patted her horse with his bandaged hand, careful to keep a tight grip on the reigns with the other as they walked down the broad main street.
- 1.3(Of a ship, building, or object) well sealed against something such as water or air: [in combination]: a light-tight containerMore example sentences
- Pigs have died after a ventilation failure in a tight building.
- If the house is fairly tight, the simplest route for makeup air to enter the structure is often the unused fireplace chimney.
- A tight home can literally use up enough air that the fireplace flue is the only route for a fresh supply of outside air available.
- 2(Of a rope, fabric, or surface) stretched so as to leave no slack; not loose: the drawcord pulls tightMore example sentences
- I simply held the fabric tight front and back of the presser foot and let the machine do its work.
- It was lying loose and not stretched tight when the drawings were made.
- She also threw on a pair of black slacks that stretched tight over her thin legs.
- 2.1(Of part of the body) feeling painful and constricted as a result of anxiety or illness: there was a tight feeling in his gutMore example sentences
- Every muscle in his body was tight, and Rion had wondered if he'd frozen like that.
- Early on after my coma the muscles in my body were incredibly tight.
- She was shaking, her body was tight and her eyes were practically bleeding.
- 2.2(Of appearance or manner) tense, irritated, or angry: she gave him a tight smileMore example sentences
- I turned to look at her and she gave me a tight, angry smile.
- He gives a tough, tight smile as he contemplates his boyhood self, and you can almost hear the schoolchildren of Glasgow breathe a sigh of relief.
- In his tight, angry face we see a lifetime of struggles and disappointments.
- 2.3(Of a rule or form of control) strictly imposed: security was tight at yesterday’s ceremonyMore example sentences
- Security chiefs have decided to impose tight controls to prevent terrorists from slipping into the country.
- The peasantry in 1300 were living in a world where land was scarce and opportunities for economic advancement were limited by the tight controls of the landowners.
- The US has since pursued a systematic policy aimed at keeping the UN under tight control.
- 2.4(Of a written work or form) concise, condensed, or well structured: a tight argumentMore example sentences
- I feel this provides the skills to write tight, clear, and concise papers.
- It was also necessary to learn how to program incredibly efficiently and write extraordinarily tight code.
- It's a good, tight, well written speech will lauds us all for showing up.
- 2.5(Of an organization or group of people) disciplined or well coordinated: the vocalists are strong and the band is tightMore example sentences
- Word spread in the Southwest about the Augusta Futurity's tight organization and added prize money.
- A tight and disciplined band they are driven by the skills of drummer Rob Townsend.
- ‘With Zidane coming back, France will play a tight midfield to allow him to be free and do his own thing,’ he noted.
- 3(Of an area or space) having or allowing little room for manoeuvre: a tight parking spot it was a tight squeeze in the tiny vestibuleMore example sentences
- Triumph engineers believed that women were unable to park or manoeuvre in tight spaces and so the car had to be able to turn on a sixpence.
- The steering is light and makes the Fabia very easy to place and manoeuvre around tight spaces.
- Steering is very light and the car is surprisingly flexible; the turning circle is quite tight, making it easy to manoeuvre in tight spaces once you've got used to the size.
- 3.1(Of a bend, turn, or angle) changing direction sharply; having a short radius: the coach failed to negotiate the tight bendMore example sentences
- These bends were so tight that only short, relatively ineffective nets could be used.
- They will also be racing on the wider expanses of a course that offers a much fairer test of ability than the tight turns and short straight at the Valley.
- A useful escape tactic to a prey is to initiate a turn before predator closure and rely on a tight turn radius for escape.
- 3.2(Of money or time) limited or restricted: David was out of work and money was tight an ability to work to tight deadlinesMore example sentences
- If money is tight and restricting you from having the flowers you dream of then why not consider making your own bouquet.
- ‘We know money is tight, but a contribution would let the veterans know they were remembered,’ said Bob.
- Money was tight; he couldn't afford the trips on his salary as a counselor at St. Petersburg College.
- 4(Of a formation or group) closely or densely packed together: he levered the bishop out from a tight knot of clerical wivesMore example sentences
- They held together and went down the street in tight formation, flanked by cops on all sides.
- Gophers clump their mounds together in tight groups, and these are flatter and fan-shaped with off-center holes.
- We stayed together in a tight group as we approached the house.
- 4.1(Of a community or other group of people) having close relations; tight-knit: New York’s tight Orthodox Jewish community the folk were far too tight to let anyone knowMore example sentences
- This tight community is reflected in the organization and the fans that come out to games.
- For all that has happened to him, he is still the product of his background, still the son of a tight community.
- After World War II, the original incentives to remain a tight community faded away.
- 5(Of a game or contest) with evenly matched competitors; very close: he won in a tight finishMore example sentences
- And last season excepted, veteran Robert Horry knows how to produce in tight games and the postseason.
- His willingness to handle the scoring burden in tight games was another sign of his maturity.
- There isn't a quarterback in the league you'd rather have going for you in the fourth quarter of a tight game.
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- Very firmly, closely, or tensely: he went downstairs, holding tight to the bannistersMore example sentences
- But this one made his jaw clench tight and his teeth rattle a bit.
- Silhouette clenched her fists and shut her eyes tight.
- Shut your eyes tight and try dancing in absolute darkness, with just the sound of anklets and the music to lead you on.
run a tight ship
- Be very strict in managing an organization or operation.More example sentences
- ‘I want to portray an image of success,’ Gerry admits, to show that it's feasible to be organic and still run a tight ship.
- And to the sheriff's credit, he runs a tight ship here.
- Wilkinson runs a tight ship, and any privacy is treasured.
a tight corner (or spot or place)
- A difficult situation: her talent for talking her way out of tight cornersMore example sentences
- My situation left me in a tight spot for consideration: lose a possibly extremely lucrative affair, or risk the permanent loss of my only daughter.
- We're in a bit of a tight spot but we're going to have to go out and battle.
- I understood perfectly well that I was in a tight spot.
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- Once her hands were tied tightly and securely at the back, he spun her back around.
- Many of these huge catches are only made possible because the fish are still so tightly shoaled.
- The solution was to allow more access to him, but to keep it tightly controlled.
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- As a result, tightness in her hips, thighs and knees means Kira can crawl and move with the aid of her frame, but cannot put her heels down or control her legs.
- Do you feel tired, have a headache, tightness or indigestion?
- When you're hanging from a harness in the shop, check not only for tightness but also for balance.
Middle English (in the sense 'healthy, vigorous', later 'firm, solid'): probably an alteration of thight 'firm, solid', later 'close-packed, dense', of Germanic origin; related to German dicht 'dense, close'.