Definition of “tight” - English Dictionary

“tight” in English

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tightadjective, adverb

uk /taɪt/ us /taɪt/

B2 (held or kept together) firmly or closely:

I can't untie the knot - it's too tight.
This lid is on very tight.
The people stood talking in tight groups.
Hold on tight when we go around the corner.
Check that windows and doors are shut tight (= completely closed) before you leave.
The plastic cover was stretched tight (= stretched as much as it could be) across the tank.

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uk /taɪt/ us /taɪt/

tight adjective (UNCOMFORTABLE)

B1 Clothes or shoes that are tight fit the body too closely and are uncomfortable:

That jacket's too tight - you need a bigger size.

If you have a tight feeling in your chest you have an uncomfortable feeling of pressure, caused by illness, fear, etc.

tight adjective (NOT MUCH)

B2 If time or money is tight, there is only just enough of it:

I'm sorry I can't stay for a chat, time's really tight.
They're raising three kids on one small salary so money is very tight.
noun [ U ] uk /ˈtaɪt.nəs/ us /ˈtaɪt.nəs/

(Definition of “tight” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“tight” in American English

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tightadjective, adverb [ -er/-est only ]

us /tɑɪt/

tight adjective, adverb [ -er/-est only ] (FIRMLY TOGETHER)

(held or kept together) firmly or closely:

You have to wrap the bandage tight enough so that it really supports your ankle.
Make sure the door is shut tight (= completely closed) before you leave.

Clothes that are tight fit the body closely, sometimes so closely that they are uncomfortable:

She wore a tight black skirt.
These shoes feel a bit tight.

If you say about two people that they are tight, you mean they are close friends.


us /tɑɪt/

tight adjective (LIMITED)

[ -er/-est only ] (esp. of time or money) available in limited amounts:

Arnold has a very tight schedule today and I don’t know if he can see you.
We’re on a tight budget and can’t afford to eat out much.
Parking is very tight on weekdays around here.

tight adjective (CONTROLLED)

strongly controlled:

Security was tight at the meeting between the two leaders.

tight adjective (DIFFICULT)

(of situations) difficult or hard to deal with:

We were in a tight financial situation.
I was in a tight spot (= difficult situation) and wasn’t sure what I should do.

In a competition, tight means close, with the competitors almost even:

He was involved in a very tight race for governor.

(Definition of “tight” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“tight” in Business English

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uk /taɪt/ us

GOVERNMENT, LAW controlled very carefully:

tight controls/security/restrictions The talks were held amid tight security in London.

FINANCE, MANAGEMENT if money or time is tight, there is only just enough of it:

Finances are tight and no university has spare cash.
tight budget/deadline/schedule We're working to a very tight schedule.

ECONOMICS, COMMERCE if there is a tight market, there is not as much of something available as is wanted or needed:

They should not restrict so much land in an already tight and overpriced housing market.
A tight labor market is an employer's nightmare.
keep a tight rein on sth

to control something, especially spending, in a very careful way:

The chancellor was urged to keep a tight rein on public finances.

(Definition of “tight” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)