taut / tôt/ • adj. stretched or pulled tight; not slack: the fabric stays taut without adhesive. ∎ (esp. of muscles or nerves) tense; not relaxed. ∎ fig. (of writing, music, etc.) concise and controlled: a taut text of only a hundred and twenty pages. ∎ (of a ship) having a disciplined and efficient crew.DERIVATIVES: taut·en / ˈtôtn/ v.taut·ly adv.taut·ness n.