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 something
a ) intransitive if something such as a rope or chain tightens, it becomes straighter or fits more tightly around something
3. ) intransitive or transitive if a muscle or a part of your body tightens, or you tighten it, it becomes hard and stiff, often because you are angry or afraid:
Her stomach tightened, anticipating the fight that was to come.
a ) intransitive if your mouth tightens or your lips tighten, your mouth looks narrow because you are angry or annoyed
b ) intransitive if your hand tightens or your fingers tighten, you hold something more tightly
4. ) tighten or tighten up transitive to make a set of rules stricter or harder to avoid:
a bill that will tighten trading rules
tighten control: The government wants to tighten its control on the press.
a ) to make an arrangement for guarding or protecting something more effectively:
Security at foreign consulates was tightened after the attack.
tighten your belt
to spend less money
tighten your grip on something
1. ) to begin to control someone or something more strictly:
The military government has tightened its grip on the province.
2. ) to hold someone or something more firmly:
He tightened his grip on her arms, making her wince.
─ opposite LOOSEN
tighten up phrasal verb
1. ) intransitive or transitive same as TIGHTEN 4
2. ) intransitive to be stricter or more serious about something such as a policy or rule:
tighten up on: My first priority is to tighten up on discipline.

Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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 [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 …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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