› (also tighten up) GOVERNMENT, LAW to make a rule, system, or law stronger and more difficult to ignore: tighten controls/rules/regulation There were renewed calls to tighten controls on imported products.
› ECONOMICS, FINANCE limiting the amount of money that people and companies are able to borrow or spend, for example, by increasing interest rates: Central banks were expected to respond by tightening monetary policy.
› ECONOMICS, COMMERCE if a market tightens, there becomes less of something available than is wanted or needed: The global market for nurses is tightening.
tighten your belt › to spend less money than usual for a period of time because you do not have as much money: The major supermarkets have started a price war as customers tighten their belts. → See also belt-tightening