Date: 1400-1500
Origin: thight 'closely packed, solid, thick' (14-19 centuries), probably from a Scandinavian language


1 adjective
Related topics: Sport, Illness and Disability
tight1 S2 W3 comparative tighter, superlative tightest


tight clothes fit your body very closely, especially in a way that is uncomfortable [≠ loose]:
tight jeans
My shoes were so tight that I could hardly walk.
The jacket is rather a tight fit (=it fits too tightly).

pulled/stretched firmly

string, wire, cloth etc that is tight has been pulled or stretched firmly so that it is straight or cannot move:
The bandage must be tight enough to stop the bleeding.
She tied the rope around the post and pulled it tight.

attached firmly

a screw, lid etc that is tight is firmly attached and difficult to move:
Check that the screws are tight.

holding something firmly

a tight hold/grip

if you keep or have a tight hold on something, you hold it firmly:
His mother kept a tight hold on his hand.


controlling something very strictly or firmly:
The government is keeping tight control on immigration.
keep a tight grip/hold/rein on something (=control it very firmly)
The former dictator still keeps a tight grip on power.
Anna was determined to keep a tight hold on her feelings.
Security is always tight for the opening day of parliament.
run/keep a tight ship (=manage a company, organization etc strictly and effectively)

little money

if money is tight, you do not have enough of it
money is tight/things are tight
Money was tight and he needed a job badly.
As you know, I run the magazine on a pretty tight budget.

little time

if time is tight, it is difficult for you to do everything you need to do in the time available:
Time is tight, and she has another meeting to go to this afternoon.
We should arrive on time, but it'll be tight.
As usual, his schedule on Saturday was tight (=he had arranged to do several things in a short time).
I''m working to a very tight deadline (=I have to finish a piece of work vey quickly).

little space

if space is tight, there is only just enough space to fit something into a place
be a tight squeeze/fit
Six in the car will be a tight squeeze.

not generous

informal not generous, or trying hard to avoid spending money:
Don't be so tight!

close together

placed or standing closely together:
The animal's body was curled up in a tight little ball.
She wore her hair in a tight bun.

close relationship

a tight group of people, countries etc have a close relationship with each other [= tight-knit]:
Together, the young film-makers formed a tight group.
the tight bonds that had grown between them


a tight bend or turn is very curved and turns quickly in another direction:
Danny lost control on a tight bend, and the car ran off the road.


MI if your chest, stomach, or throat feels tight, it feels painful and uncomfortable, because you are ill or worried:
Before she went on stage her chest felt tight and her throat hurt.


a tight expression, smile, or voice shows that you are annoyed or worried [= tight-lipped]:
'Look, I'm sorry ...,' she said, forcing a tight smile.

difficult situation

in a tight corner/spot

informal in a difficult situation:
He's a good man to have around if ever you're in a tight corner.
'Did something go wrong?' 'Let's just say I got into a bit of a tight spot.'


AP playing a piece of music or giving a performance very exactly and well, without any pauses or mistakes:
The band gave a really tight performance.
a tight, well-rehearsed production


DS a tight game, competition etc is one in which the teams, players etc play equally well, and it is not easy to win:
The opening quarter of the game was very tight.


[not before noun] old-fashioned informalMI drunk
airtight, watertight
tightly adverb:
Marie held the baby tightly in her arms.
tightness noun [uncountable]
clothes: skintight, figure-hugging, tight-fitting also close-fitting British English, snug

rope/wire/chain: taut

screw/lid/handle: be on firmly/tightly, be firmly fastened/closed

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