tight|en [ˈtaıtn] v also tighten up
1.) [T]
to close or fasten something firmly by turning it
≠ ↑loosen
Tighten the screws firmly.
I'd put the new tyre on, but I hadn't tightened up the wheel.
2.) [I and T]
if you tighten a rope, wire etc, or if it tightens, it is stretched or pulled so that it becomes tight
When you tighten guitar strings, the note gets higher.
The rope tightened around his body.
3.) [I and T]
to become stiff or make a part of your body become stiff
≠ ↑relax
His mouth tightened into a thin, angry line.
Tighten up the muscles of both arms.
4.) tighten your grip/hold on sth
a) to control a place or situation more strictly
Rebel forces have tightened their hold on the capital.
b) to hold someone or something more firmly
Sarah tightened her grip on my arm.
5.) [T]
to make a rule, law, or system more strict
≠ ↑relax
Efforts to tighten the rules have failed.
tighten up on sth
a range of measures to tighten up on illegal share dealing
6.) tighten your belt informal
to try to spend less money than you used to
Businesses were tightening their belts and cutting jobs.
7.) tighten the screws (on sb) informal to try to force someone to do something, by threatening them or making things difficult for them - used in news reports
Closing the border would tighten the screws on the terrorists.
8.) [i]American English if a race or competition tightens, the distance between the competitors becomes smaller
He expects the presidential race to tighten.
tighten up phr v
if a team or group tightens up, they start working together more effectively
tighten sth<=>up
We have tightened up the defence and are winning matches as a result.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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  • tighten — UK [ˈtaɪt(ə)n] / US or tighten up UK / US verb Word forms tighten : present tense I/you/we/they tighten he/she/it tightens present participle tightening past tense tightened past participle tightened Word forms tighten up : present tense… …   English dictionary

  • Tighten Up — may refer to: Tighten Up (Archie Bell the Drells album) Tighten Up (Archie Bell the Drells song) Tighten Up (Electronic song) Tighten Up (The Black Keys song) Tighten Up, a 1960s series of reggae compilation albums issued by Trojan Records See… …   Wikipedia

  • tighten — UK US /ˈtaɪtən/ verb [I or T] ► (also tighten up) GOVERNMENT, LAW to make a rule, system, or law stronger and more difficult to ignore: tighten controls/rules/regulation »There were renewed calls to tighten controls on imported products. ►… …   Financial and business terms

  • Tighten — Tight en, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Tightened}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Tightening}.] To draw tighter; to straiten; to make more close in any manner. [1913 Webster] Just where I please, with tightened rein I ll urge thee round the dusty plain. Fawkes. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • tighten — index adhere (fasten), constrict (compress) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • tighten — (v.) to make tight, 1727; the earlier verb was simply tight, from O.E. tyhtan, from the root of TIGHT (Cf. tight). Related: Tightened; tightening …   Etymology dictionary

  • tighten — [v] constrict bind, clench, close, compress, condense, congeal, contract, cramp, crush, fasten, fix, grip, harden, narrow, pinch, pressure, rigidify, screw, secure, squeeze, stiffen, strain, strangle, stretch, tauten, tense, toughen; concepts 250 …   New thesaurus

  • tighten — [tīt′ n] vt., vi. to make or become tight or tighter tightener n …   English World dictionary

  • tighten — [[t]ta͟ɪt(ə)n[/t]] tightens, tightening, tightened 1) V ERG If you tighten your grip on something, or if your grip tightens, you hold the thing more firmly or securely. [V n] Luke answered by tightening his grip on her shoulder... [V prep] Her… …   English dictionary

  • tighten — tight|en [ taıtn ] verb ** 1. ) transitive to turn something such as a screw or cover until it is tight and you cannot turn it any more 2. ) transitive to pull something such as a rope or belt until it is straighter or fits more tightly around… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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