Find the word definition

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

tighten

verb
COLLOCATIONS FROM OTHER ENTRIES
improve/tighten security (=make it better)
▪ Mexico has tightened security along its southern border.
sb's hand tightens
▪ Her hand tightened on the knife handle.
sb's stomach lurches/tightens (=it suddenly feels tight because they are frightened)
▪ Her stomach lurched at the thought of leaving Millfield.
sb’s mouth tightenswritten (= their lips are pressed tightly together, usually in anger)
▪ ‘You mean you knew about this?’ His mouth tightened.
tense/tighten your muscles (=make them more tight)
▪ He tensed his stomach muscles, ready for the blow.
tighten an embargo (=make an embargo stricter and more difficult to break)
▪ We are taking further action to tighten the embargo.
tighten regulations (=make them stricter)
▪ The President is expected to announce new efforts to tighten gun-control regulations.
tighten restrictions (=make them stricter)
▪ The government recently tightened restrictions on police use of firearms.
tighten (up) the rules (=make them stricter)
▪ The EU has tightened the rules on the quality of drinking water.
tighten your grip/your grip tightens (=hold something more tightly)
▪ She tightened her grip on her son’s hand.
tighten your grip/your grip tightens (=hold something more tightly)
▪ She tightened her grip on her son’s hand.
tighten your hold
▪ Maria winced as Luke tightened his hold on her fingers.
tighten...screws
▪ Fix the frame in position and tighten the screws.
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ ADVERB
around
▪ Hand coils create unwanted slack and immediately tighten around the hand under load, trapping the fingers and preventing an effective arrest.
▪ His arm tightened around her, but he didn't stir.
▪ The noose is tightening around young Ma.
▪ A moth flew past her face, making her jump, and his grasp tightened around her waist.
▪ That ribbon of distress had knotted itself about her, tightening around her stomach which suddenly felt overfull of coffee and food.
▪ Then the rope tightened around his body, and he felt something pulling him beneath the surface.
up
▪ If they can not be protected by the law from this kind of material then the law should be tightened up.
▪ He also tightened up the championship points battle with just one race remaining.
▪ Richards will have to rest the shoulder for at least four months following the operation to tighten up ligaments.
▪ But Hill hurt a hamstring on the return, and had to leave the game after his leg tightened up.
▪ Thus, in times of slack demand it is not uncommon to find managements tightening up on industrial discipline.
▪ Sit tight, and hope that when they dry out the vinyl skin will tighten up again.
▪ It is easy to be successful when the world is booming, but not so easy when things tighten up.
▪ Then for a hundred years or so they had tightened up, and Sam had to squint and blink to count them.
■ NOUN
arm
▪ His arm tightened around her, but he didn't stir.
▪ His arm shook and he tightened his grip on the stock of the rifle to still it.
▪ Her arm tightened around him, her other hand resting loosely on the shoulders of another singer.
▪ My arms tightened; my jaw tightened; my hands tightened.
▪ Her body relaxed against him in sleep and his arms tightened, supporting her instinctively.
▪ So why were his arms tightening about her? she wondered as the kiss deepened.
▪ Instead, his arm tightened round her as he drew her towards him.
belt
▪ At the same time many working people have had their belts tightened for them as factories closed and unions accepted cutbacks.
▪ More belt tightening and job cuts are needed to keep spending in line, officials said.
control
▪ Moreover, management did not take the opportunities presented by the new machinery to tighten control over production.
▪ She could feel, too, the Communists tightening their control.
▪ We will tighten controls against exploitation, we will create more National Parks and we will improve access to the countryside.
▪ After nearly losing the 1971 election to opposition leader Dae-Jung Kim, Park tightened his control even more, smothering all dissent.
▪ While tightening control of film content, the government has opened the film industry to market forces in two ways.
▪ The chair stopped, and the hands directing it tightened on the controls until the knuckles turned white.
▪ Other reasons given were the sale of subsidiaries, tightening controls on costs and improving the structures and systems of group companies.
▪ The consensus is that the Kiev government has tightened controls over the small arms trade in recent months.
effort
▪ If that bargain now falters, so may efforts to tighten up the inspection regime that backs up the treaty.
face
▪ Simon does not elaborate, but his face begins to tighten as he recalls some disagreeable incident.
▪ Looking again at the words he had written he realized that his face was once more tightening, his lips once again curling.
▪ Felipe was there alone and his face tightened as Mitch and Ana came in together.
▪ A neck-firming cream, £85, and face-tightening mask, £50, have also just been launched.
▪ Immediately his face tightened up and he strode away.
finger
▪ His finger tightened on the trigger.
▪ Ashley's fingers tightened involuntarily around the glass.
▪ As the fingers tightened he resigned himself to the worst.
▪ The gaping round mouth of the gun, centred squarely on his left eye. Finger tightening on trigger.
▪ Far from relenting, his fingers tightened even more, nearly lifting Isabel from the ground.
▪ Hepzibah's fingers tightened on hers.
▪ This time his fingers seemed to tighten in her hair, drawing her mouth like a prisoner against his.
government
▪ The government wants to tighten immigration controls, but it does not want to be seen as anti-Semitic.
▪ But the government was forced to tighten monetary policy in 1995 and last year; the boom slowed.
▪ They have urged the Government to tighten up the apparent loophole which allows motorists to speed.
▪ The consensus is that the Kiev government has tightened controls over the small arms trade in recent months.
grip
▪ Whitlock tried to explain but the policeman's grip tightened on the revolver and he repeated the order.
▪ Their captor had instantly pulled them to a stop, his grip tightening painfully on their necks.
▪ Instantly her hands tightened their grip.
▪ D'Arcy's grip tightened round her shoulders as he felt her hot tears against his skin.
▪ Rain felt her protective grip on Barbara Coleman tighten, but the woman was relieved to see him.
▪ As soon as we heard the engine his grip tightened.
▪ The grip tightened slightly, then relaxed again.
hand
▪ Her hand tightened convulsively on the receiver, the earpiece jerked against her face.
▪ My arms tightened; my jaw tightened; my hands tightened.
▪ Sarella felt his hand tighten on hers and she leaned against him to reassure him.
▪ Nick's hand tightened in hers.
▪ Instantly her hands tightened their grip.
▪ The chair stopped, and the hands directing it tightened on the controls until the knuckles turned white.
▪ Other hands tightened my blindfold until it hurt and started fitting a cloth over my mouth.
▪ Only when he told her that he intended leaving that evening did he feel her hand tighten in his.
hold
▪ The hold tightened as Saxon thegns and clergy gave way to Normans.
jaw
▪ And, as Silas stood listening to her, Lucy noticed his jaw tighten in anger.
▪ My arms tightened; my jaw tightened; my hands tightened.
▪ Jehan stroked his moustache again, and he saw his father's jaw tighten in irritation.
law
▪ They believe moves to tighten the gun laws even further could result in even more firearms flooding the black market.
▪ Let's keep our roads safe and tighten motoring law to rid our roads of these death traps once and for all.
▪ A recent decision tightening up the laws relating to overseas players will greatly restrict the flow of foreigners to Ireland.
▪ The Government's approach has been to tackle the misuse of knives by tightening the law on possession of knives in public.
lip
▪ Theda's lips had tightened, but she had made no complaint.
▪ Frank said, his lips tightening.
▪ Her lips tightened, but she said nothing.
▪ She looked up from her Tarot cards as Topaz approached, her thin lips tightening.
▪ Marguerite's tight shoulders told her that and Alain's lips tightened too as the tension in the car reached him.
▪ Whereas she - Maria's lips tightened, confining a moan of self-disgust.
mouth
▪ Maria's tenderly passionate mouth tightened.
▪ I saw the way his mouth tightened as he tried to hide his delight in giving it to me.
▪ I felt my lip curl, and the inside of my mouth dry out and tighten as if I had been sucking lemons.
muscle
▪ Lisa was instantly aware of her muscles tightening.
▪ He went up on his toes, the muscles in his calves tightening.
▪ It made the muscles in your backside tighten up.
▪ Jane felt her muscles begin to tighten again.
▪ Lissa felt her stomach muscles tighten, and turned away.
neck
▪ Their captor had instantly pulled them to a stop, his grip tightening painfully on their necks.
▪ Franco's noose began to tighten round Catalonia's neck.
nut
▪ In taps, replacing the tap washer and tightening the gland nut will both contribute to stopping water hammer occurring.
▪ All it took was tightening a nut.
▪ Turn the water on slowly and tighten the nuts if there are any leaks. 6.
▪ He conceded, however, that the company tightened a nut in the fuse box on Saab models after 1992.
▪ He changed the spanner for one clearly the wrong size and tried vainly to tighten the nut again.
policy
▪ Normally a Federal Reserve faced with such a situation would tighten monetary policy.
▪ But the government was forced to tighten monetary policy in 1995 and last year; the boom slowed.
▪ This has often led him to tighten monetary policy while everybody around was urging him to ease.
▪ The only way out would be to tighten fiscal policy.
▪ The Bundesbank tightened monetary policy sharply in 1965.
procedure
▪ In reality, Wilson had tightened up reporting procedures so that fewer thefts escaped the record due to carelessness, corruption, etc.
▪ It has now tightened up its financial procedures.
▪ On the plus side, the appeals system has undoubtedly caused many LEAs to tighten up their procedures.
▪ At the inquest, the coroner recorded an open verdict, but urged staff to tighten up procedures.
race
▪ Or it may be that the race is in fact tightening up as the Nov. 5 Election Day nears.
rule
▪ He would end a corporate capital tax, privatize some government-owned corporations, tighten welfare rules and reduce trade-union powers.
▪ Last year, Congress also tightened habeas rules, making it harder for a state prisoner to win a federal hearing.
▪ Then, after five years, the Treasury tightened the rules again.
▪ But ministers want to tighten the rules to ensure only people unable to perform any sort of work would qualify for payment.
▪ Mr Brown could have tightened the rules further.
▪ The army also said it had tightened the rules governing when its soldiers are allowed to shoot.
▪ Nevertheless Mr Brown could have introduced a further tightening of the rules inhis Budget.
security
▪ Wardair yesterday accepted responsibilty and disclosed plans to tighten security.
▪ This move to tighten security is good news for card users.
standard
▪ In recent years, most countries have tightened their standards of waste disposal.
▪ Difficulties sometimes arise when the agency redefines pollution control policy for a stretch of water and, wishes to tighten existing standards.
stomach
▪ She shuddered, and the knot in her stomach tightened.
▪ I felt my stomach tighten, unreason bubbling, rising.
▪ But when he had smiled at her she had felt her stomach tighten in desire.
▪ My stomach tightened to stop them.
▪ His stomach tightened, his throat writhed.
▪ His stomach tightened as he entered the place.
▪ She then stood next to the telephone box, her stomach beginning to tighten in a way which was becoming sickeningly familiar.
▪ Something prickly crawled up my spine to the back of my neck, and my stomach tightened.
throat
▪ I would have yelled it if my throat hadn't tightened up.
▪ When third down arrives now, the Raiders' throats tighten and their predictability increases.
▪ Jean's throat tightened, and she grasped Francesca's hand hard.
▪ The instant she saw him, leaning with careless masculine grace against the wall, Isabel's throat tightened.
▪ My throat began to tighten until it hurt.
▪ His hands lingered for a moment, his fingers hinting at a strength that made her throat tighten.
■ VERB
feel
▪ Sarella felt his hand tighten on hers and she leaned against him to reassure him.
▪ As the investigation continued into June, Dunlap could feel the vise tighten, squeezing out any possibility of hope.
▪ Despite the transparent nonsense of it all, Finlayson felt his guts tighten at the word cowardice.
▪ I felt my stomach tighten, unreason bubbling, rising.
▪ But when he had smiled at her she had felt her stomach tighten in desire.
▪ I felt a tightening in my chest.
▪ She watched Mr Evans turn in his chair and look up at his sister and felt her chest tighten.
▪ He looked down at the woman kneeling by his side and felt his chest tighten with his love for her.
seem
▪ Nevertheless, tension seemed to tighten the air between them.
▪ Something seemed to tighten and die inside her.
▪ This time his fingers seemed to tighten in her hair, drawing her mouth like a prisoner against his.
▪ In fact, his features seemed to tighten into even harsher lines.
want
▪ But ministers want to tighten the rules to ensure only people unable to perform any sort of work would qualify for payment.
▪ Chris's six-point plan is for those who want to tighten tummy muscles and lose a bit of flab.
▪ And if we want to tighten and tone our bodies, we need to do toning exercises that work specific muscle groups.
▪ The government wants to tighten immigration controls, but it does not want to be seen as anti-Semitic.
▪ Buckingham Palace said Di wanted to tighten her belt along with everyone else.
PHRASES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
put/tighten the screws on sb
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
Tighten the screws gradually until the wheel is firmly in place.
Tighten up the lid on that juice before you put it away.
Tighten your stomach muscles and hold for three seconds.
▪ He changed the spanner for one the correct size and tightened the nut.
▪ I need to tighten the screw on my glasses.
▪ I think the fan belt needs to be tightened.
▪ Judy's lips tightened in a thin smile.
▪ She bent down and tightened the muzzle on the dog.
▪ The bill would tighten existing gun-control regulations.
▪ The rope tightened and Steve was pulled off balance.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ As the investigation continued into June, Dunlap could feel the vise tighten, squeezing out any possibility of hope.
▪ As though to tighten it a hand came to rest on hers.
▪ But Hill hurt a hamstring on the return, and had to leave the game after his leg tightened up.
▪ I felt my stomach tighten, unreason bubbling, rising.
▪ The cross-fence would be finished sometime today, once we got all the wires pulled out and tightened up.
▪ The estate owners tightened their systems, with a view to greater productivity - new breeds, crops, implements and methods.
▪ They believe moves to tighten the gun laws even further could result in even more firearms flooding the black market.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Tighten

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.

Just where I please, with tightened rein I'll urge thee round the dusty plain.
--Fawkes.

Tightening pulley (Mach.), a pulley which rests, or is forced, against a driving belt to tighten it.

WordNet

tighten

  1. v. make tight or tighter; "Tighten the wire" [syn: fasten]

  2. become tight or tighter; "The rope tightened"

  3. restrict; "Tighten the rules"; "stiffen the regulations" [syn: stiffen, tighten up, constrain]

  4. narrow or limit; "reduce the influx of foreigners" [syn: reduce]

Wiktionary

tighten

vb. 1 (context transitive English) To make tighter. 2 (context intransitive English) To become tighter. 3 (context economics English) To make money harder to borrow or obtain. 4 (context economics English) To raise short-term interest rates.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

tighten

"to make tight," 1727; the earlier verb was simply tight, from Old English tyhtan, from the root of tight. Related: Tightened; tightening.

Wikipedia

Usage examples of "tighten".

Tonight, for just an instant-was Alec tightened his grip on the sword lying across his knees.

He wedged the rubberized flashlight between two outcroppings of aragonite, and in its beam attached the mask to the air tank, grunting with pain as he tightened the connections with his flayed fingers.

Sir John Bittle had an uncomfortable feeling that those eyes were keen enough to note the slightest tightening of a muscle.

David tightened the straps of his bungee jacket and jumped onto his boards.

His groin tightened painfully at the thought, and he angrily tempered the burgeoning lust.

Lal Chunder, tightening his grip as he spoke, to the manifest discomfort of the man against the tree.

Tightening my arms about her, I pressed my cock against her dimpled rump, gently grinding against her cushiony ass.

And so, tighten the cinches on Rocinante, and God be with you, and wait for me here no more than three days, and if I have not come back by then, you may return to our village, and from there, as a boon and good deed for my sake, you will go to Toboso and tell my peerless lady Dulcinea that her captive knight died performing deeds that would make him worthy of being called her own.

More than one eye drifted to Duv Galeni, whose jaw tightened slightly.

The sudden glint of her silver eyes under those long, curved lashes and the tightening of her lips told him she was no longer embarrassed but angry.

Jarrett felt his own head seem to contract as though the frug had tightened up like a steel band.

He struggled, choked, gagged, cried for mercy, but the hand only tightened its crushing grip, inflicting punishment without mercy, descending down out of the darkness like a cyclone from a thundercloud.

He put his back to the ladder, tightened his grip on the twister, an arm on each side of the grommet, lifted his leg to clear the baffle, then staggered as a sudden roll of the ship threw the weight of the missile against him.

These gyves not only bound her skirts but involved her feet in an extraordinary mesh, which tightened at the first step and brought her to a standstill.

She quickly looked down at the hymnal, only to have to tighten her grip on the book when it started to slip from her trembling fingers.