Definition of tight adverb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//taɪt//
; NAmE NAmE//taɪt//
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  • (tighter, tightest) closely and firmly; tightly Hold tight! My suitcase was packed tight. His fists were clenched tight. Which Word?tight / tightly Tight and tightly are both adverbs that come from the adjective tight. They have the same meaning, but tight is often used instead of tightly after a verb, especially in informal language, and in compounds:packed tight a tight-fitting lid. Before a past participle tightly is used:clusters of tightly packed flowers.
  • Word OriginMiddle English (in the sense ‘healthy, vigorous’, later ‘firm, solid’): probably an alteration of thight ‘firm, solid’, later ‘close-packed, dense’, of Germanic origin; related to German dicht ‘dense, close’.Extra examples He held his children tight. Shut your eyes tight. His jaw was clenched tight. You didn’t tie it tight enough.Idioms
    1. 1to stay where you are rather than moving away or changing position We sat tight and waited to be rescued.
    2. 2to stay in the same situation, without changing your mind or taking any action Shareholders are being advised to sit tight until the crisis passes.
    (informal) used especially to children before they go to bed to say that you hope they sleep well Goodnight, sleep tight!
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: tight