English

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Etymology

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From Middle English tight, tyght, tyȝt, tiht, variants of thight, thiht, from Old English *þiht, *þīht (attested in meteþiht), from Proto-West Germanic *þį̄ht(ī), from Proto-Germanic *þinhtaz, from Proto-Indo-European *tenkt- (dense, thick, tight), from Proto-Indo-European *ten- (to stretch, pull).

Cognate with Scots ticht, West Frisian ticht, Danish tæt, Icelandic þéttur (dense), Norwegian tett, Swedish tät, Dutch dicht (dense), German dicht (dense).

Pronunciation

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  • enPR: tīt, IPA(key): /taɪt/
  • Audio (US):(file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪt

Adjective

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tight (comparative tighter, superlative tightest)

  1. Firmly held together; compact; not loose or open.
    a tight sponge; a tight knot
    1. Unyielding or firm.
      tight control on a situation; tight clothing
    2. Under high tension; taut.
      Make sure to pull the rope tight.
    3. (colloquial) Scarce, hard to come by.
      I grew up in a poor neighborhood; money was very tight, but we made do.
    4. (colloquial, figurative) Intimately friendly.
      • 1985 April 20, Julie Ogletree, “Festival: Variety and Limits”, in Gay Community News, page 8:
        The drawbacks of being in a too-tight couple (there's no room to blow your nose)
      We've grown tighter over the years.
    5. (slang, figurative, usually derogatory) Miserly or frugal.
      He's a bit tight with his money.
      • 1995, Jewel (lyrics and music), “Who Will Save Your Soul”:
        You say he's a Jew, does it mean that he's tight?
  2. (of a space, design or arrangement) Narrow, such that it is difficult for something or someone to pass through it.
    The passageway was so tight we could barely get through.
    They flew in a tight formation.
    • 2020 September 5, David Hytner, “Raheem Sterling keeps his cool to see off Iceland amid blaze of late drama”, in The Guardian[1]:
      England squeezed high and dominated the ball, penning Iceland back but the hosts kept the lines tight and it became clear that England would have to work for their openings.
    1. Fitting close, or too close, to the body.
      a tight coat;  My socks are too tight.
    2. Of a turn, sharp, so that the timeframe for making it is narrow and following it is difficult.
      The mountain pass was made dangerous by its many tight corners.
    3. Lacking holes; difficult to penetrate; waterproof.
      • 1965, MotorBoating, page 145:
        He reported the hull was tight and secure and did not leak a drop.
      • 2014 November 27, Ian Black, “Courts kept busy as Jordan works to crush support for Isis”, in The Guardian:
        Security is tight inside and outside the building, guarded by a bewildering collection of soldiers, policemen and gendarmes. Relatives watch as prisoners in handcuffs and leg irons shuffle past.
  3. Well-rehearsed and accurate in execution.
    Their marching band is extremely tight.
    1. (sports) Not conceding many goals.
  4. (slang) Intoxicated; drunk or acting like being drunk.
    We went drinking and got tight.
    • c. 1930, Dominic Behan (lyrics and music), “Come Out Ye Black and Tans”‎[2]performed by The Wolfe Tones:
      And every single night when me da’ would come home tight he’d invite the neighbours out with this chorus.
    • 1940, Effie Butler, Misbehaving Husbands:
      I'm going to celebrate my divorce! And then I'm going to get tight.
    • 1975, Walter Becker, Donald Fagen (lyrics and music), “Daddy Don't Live in That New York City No More”, performed by Steely Dan:
      No my daddy don't live in that New York City no more, no more / He can't get tight every night, pass out on the barroom floor
    • 1980 [1962], Ian Fleming, chapter 3, in The Spy Who Loved Me, →ISBN, page 38:
      And then he insisted on champagne for dinner and by the time we got to our little cinema we were both rather tight.
    • 2001, “Johnny Tarr”, in Tree, performed by Gaelic Storm:
      Johnny walked into the Castle Bar, looking to get tight
  5. (slang) Extraordinarily great or special.
    That is one tight bicycle!
  6. (slang, British (regional)) Mean; unfair; unkind.
    • 1977, Willy Russell, Our Day Out, act 1, scene 1:
      Reilly: Ey, Miss, hang on, hang on... can we come with y', Miss? Can we?
      Digga: Go on, Miss, don't be tight, let's come.
    • 2001, Kevin Sampson, Outlaws, page 244:
      "Ah leave him, ay!" goes one of the girls. "Don't be tight." I turns to her. "Don't you think it's tight terrorising old ladies? Ay?"
    • 2011, Andrew Hicks, Thai Girl: A story of the one who said 'no', unnumbered page:
      "That's right ... so even when life's a grind, the Thais keep smiling. They think the farang are a miserable lot who have to get drunk to enjoy themselves."
      "Dutch, that's tight mate, I mean what's wrong with getting pissed. When you're not working, you gotta have a good time," said Darren.
  7. Limited or restricted. (of time)
    We had a very tight schedule.
    • 2022 January 12, Paul Bigland, “Fab Four: the nation's finest stations: Eastbourne”, in RAIL, number 948, page 26:
      It is kept super-clean by helpful staff who still find the time to help customers with tight connections.
  8. (obsolete) Not ragged; whole; neat; tidy.
    • 1685 November 5 (Gregorian calendar), John Evelyn, “[Diary entry for 26 October 1685]”, in William Bray, editor, Memoirs, Illustrative of the Life and Writings of John Evelyn, [], 2nd edition, volume I, London: Henry Colburn, []; and sold by John and Arthur Arch, [], published 1819, →OCLC:
      clad very plain, but clean and tight
    • 1714, John Gay, The What D'ye Call It:
      I'll spin and card, and keep our children tight.
    • 1887, W. S. Gilbert, Ruddigore:
      Richard: But here she comes! [...] (Enter Rose — he is much struck by her.) By the Port Admiral, but she's a tight little craft!
    • 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter IX, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, →OCLC:
      “A tight little craft,” was Austin’s invariable comment on the matron; and she looked it, always trim and trig and smooth of surface like a converted yacht cleared for action. ¶ Near her wandered her husband [] from time to time squinting sideways, as usual, in the ever-renewed expectation that he might catch a glimpse of his stiff, retroussé moustache.
  9. (obsolete) Handy; adroit; brisk.
  10. (poker) Of a player, who plays very few hands. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  11. (poker) Using a strategy which involves playing very few hands. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  12. (informal, of persons) Intimate, close, close-knit.
    Synonym: thick as thieves
  13. (US, slang, motor racing) A car with understeer, primarily used to describe NASCAR stock cars.
  14. (New York) Angry or irritated.
    • 2016, Cardi B, Washpoppin:
      "I was trying to be like a lady, but y'all be getting me tight!"
  15. (slang, vulgar, of either a woman's anus or her vagina) still intact due to her still being a virgin.

Synonyms

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Antonyms

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Derived terms

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compound adjectives of the sense “closed or closely compacted so as to be impermeable or impervious to something”

Translations

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Adverb

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tight (comparative tighter, superlative tightest)

  1. Firmly, so as not to come loose easily.
    Make sure the lid is closed tight.
    • 1934, Agatha Christie, chapter 4, in Murder on the Orient Express, London: HarperCollins, published 2017, page 100:
      'I had my eyes tight shut.'
  2. Soundly.
    Good night, sleep tight.

Synonyms

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Antonyms

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Derived terms

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Translations

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Verb

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tight (third-person singular simple present tights, present participle tighting, simple past and past participle tighted)

  1. (obsolete) To tighten.

Danish

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Etymology

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From English tight. Doublet of tæt.

Pronunciation

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  • IPA(key): /tajt/, [ˈtˢɑjd̥]

Adjective

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tight (plural and definite singular attributive tighte)

  1. tight (of cloths, finances, schedules)
    Synonym: stram
  2. (music) tight (keeping time and with musical understanding)

References

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Italian

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Etymology

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Pseudo-anglicism, from English tight.

Noun

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tight m (invariable)

  1. morning suit, morning dress

Swedish

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Etymology

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Borrowed from English tight. First attested in 1968. Doublet of tät.

Adjective

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tight (comparative tightare, superlative tightast)

  1. Alternative form of tajt

Declension

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Inflection of tight
Indefinite Positive Comparative Superlative2
Common singular tight tightare tightast
Neuter singular tight tightare tightast
Plural tighta tightare tightast
Masculine plural3 tighte tightare tightast
Definite Positive Comparative Superlative
Masculine singular1 tighte tightare tightaste
All tighta tightare tightaste
1) Only used, optionally, to refer to things whose natural gender is masculine.
2) The indefinite superlative forms are only used in the predicative.
3) Dated or archaic

References

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