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

  • adj. Pulled or drawn tight; not slack. See Synonyms at tight.
  • adj. Strained; tense: nerves taut with anxiety.
  • adj. Kept in trim shape; neat and tidy.
  • adj. Marked by the efficient, sparing, or concise use of something, such as language or detail: a taut movie script.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Tight; under tension, as in a rope or bow string.
  • adj. Experiencing stress or anxiety.
  • adj. Containing only relevant parts, brief and controlled.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Tight; stretched; not slack; -- said esp. of a rope that is tightly strained.
  • adj. Snug; close; firm; secure.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Tight; tense; not slack: as, a taut line.
  • Hence In good shape or condition; properly ordered; prepared against emergency; tidy; neat.

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

  • adj. subjected to great tension; stretched tight
  • adj. pulled or drawn tight


Middle English tohte, distended, perhaps ultimately from Old English togian, to drag; see tow1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, past participle of tow (Wiktionary)



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  • A rather smutty word.

    November 30, 2007