tight

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tight / tīt/ • adj. 1. fixed, fastened, or closed firmly; hard to move, undo, or open: she twisted her handkerchief into a tight knot. ∎  (of clothes or shoes) close-fitting, esp. uncomfortably so: the dress was too tight for her. ∎  (of a grip) very firm so as not to let go: she released her tight hold on the dog | fig. presidential advisers keep a tight grip on domestic policy. ∎  (of a ship, building, or object) well sealed against something such as water or air: [in comb.] a light-tight container. ∎  (of a formation or a group of people or things) closely or densely packed together: he levered the bishop out from a tight knot of clerical wives. ∎  (of a community or other group of people) having close relations; secretive: the tenants were far too tight to let anyone know. 2. (of a rope, fabric, or surface) stretched so as to leave no slack; not loose: the drawcord pulls tight. ∎  (of a part of the body or a bodily sensation) feeling painful and constricted, as a result of anxiety or illness: there was a tight feeling in his gut. ∎  (of appearance or manner) tense, irritated, or angry: she gave him a tight smile. ∎  (of a rule, policy, or form of control) strictly imposed: security was tight at yesterday's ceremony. ∎  (of a game or contest) with evenly matched competitors; very close: he won in a tight finish. ∎  (of a written work or form) concise, condensed, or well structured: a tight argument. ∎  (of an organization or group of people) disciplined or professional; well coordinated: the vocalists are strong, and the band is tight. 3. (of an area or space) having or allowing little room for maneuver: a tight parking spot it was a tight squeeze in the tiny vestibule. ∎  (of a bend, turn, or angle) changing direction sharply; having a short radius. ∎  (of money or time) limited or restricted: David was out of work and money was tight an ability to work to tight deadlines. ∎ inf. (of a person) not willing to spend or give much money; stingy. 4. inf. drunk: later, at the club, he got tight on brandy. • adv. very firmly, closely, or tensely: he went downstairs, holding tight to the banisters. PHRASES: run a tight ship be very strict in managing an organization or operation. a tight corner (or spot or place) a difficult situation: her talent for talking her way out of tight corners.DERIVATIVES: tight·ly adv. tight·ness n.