English edit

Etymology edit

Equivalent to tight +‎ -en. From Middle English tighten, from Old English tyhtan.

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ˈtaɪ.tən/, [ˈtʰaɪ̯tn̩], [ˈtʰaɪ̯ʔn̩]
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪtən
  • Homophones: titan, Titan

Verb edit

tighten (third-person singular simple present tightens, present participle tightening, simple past and past participle tightened)

  1. (transitive) To make tighter.
    Please tighten that screw a quarter-turn.
    • 1760, Francis Fawkes, Works of Anacreon, Sappho, Bion, Moschus, and Musæus translated into English by a gentleman of Cambridge:
      Just where I please, with tighten;d rein / I'll urge thee round the dusty plain.
  2. (intransitive) To become tighter.
    That joint is tightening as the wood dries.
  3. (economics) To make money harder to borrow or obtain.
    If the government doesn't tighten the money supply, inflation is certain to be harsh.
  4. (economics) To raise short-term interest rates.
    The Fed is expected to tighten by a quarter-point.

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