Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


The moisture in his eyes deepened and a tightness gripped his throat.

Does it make a higher or a lower sound as you increase the tightness?

There was a new expression in Arcot's eyes, a tightness about his mouth.

"We've done our best," there was a tightness in Miss Sallie's voice.

He laid a hand on my shoulder and my arm ached from the tightness of his grip.

The rule of safety, in regard to the tightness of dress, is this.

Now that she had decided to talk to Yellow Hair, Redbird felt a tightness in her throat.

There was a tightness in his throat; his head throbbed and hurt.

The sheer joy of the thing brought a tightness to my throat, and I sniffled.

But a tightness gathered about my heart, for I could sniff what was coming.


mid-15c., "dense, close, compact," from Middle English thight, from Old Norse þettr "watertight, close in texture, solid," from Proto-Germanic *thenkhtuz (cf. second element in Old English meteþiht "stout from eating;" Middle High German dihte "dense, thick," German dicht "dense, tight," Old High German gidigan, German gediegen "genuine, solid, worthy"), from PIE root *tenk- "to become firm, curdle, thicken" (cf. Irish techt "curdled, coagulated," Lithuanian tankus "close, tight," Persian tang "tight," Sanskrit tanakti "draws together, contracts").

Sense of "drawn, stretched" is from 1570s; meaning "fitting closely" (as of garments) is from 1779; that of "evenly matched" (of a contest, bargain, etc.) is from 1828, American English; that of "drunk" is from 1830; that of "close, sympathetic" is from 1956. Tight-assed "unwilling to relax" is attested from 1903. Tight-laced is recorded from 1741 in both the literal and figurative senses. Tight-lipped is first attested 1876.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.