from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To make or become taut.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To make taut.
  • v. To become taut.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To become taut or tense.
  • To make taut, tense, or tight; tighten; stiffen.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. make taut or tauter
  • v. become taut or tauter


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Then, the legs tauten, the balance shifts into the balls of the feet, the torso seems to lengthen, and suddenly someone has a leg against her ear.

    Larissa Archer: Lines Ballet's Resin Breaks Down Ballet's Conventions

  • As she listened I could see the fear tauten her face.


  • He felt his stale melancholia leave him, his head become clearer, his nerves tauten.


  • Every nerve in his body seemed to tauten: He pulled out his wand, moved into the shadows beside the decapitated elf heads, and waited.

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

  • There was no breeze, and as the clumsy ship rolled and lurched on the heaving sea, her idle sails flapped against her masts with a regularly recurring noise, and her bowsprit would seem to rise higher with the water's swell, to dip again with a jerk that made each rope tremble and tauten.

    For the term of his natural life

  • Something seemed to tauten in her face, but she said, 'Oh, it was all right, you know ...'

    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

  • We saw thin black threads of wire tauten, snap, and fall, the ends flying, and the ladder top burst through.

    Time and Again

  • As he heard the agony in her voice Jake felt his scalp tauten and muscles tense.

    Yesterday's Echoes

  • Couldn't beat the tough Para training regime to work the flab off, tauten muscle tone, get the old heart-and-lung machine functioning.


  • Lucky Garrett got to do it with no one to tauten the rope.

    Bitter Gold Hearts

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