1. the middle part of a rope, as distinguished from the ends.
  2. the loop or bent part of a rope, as distinguished from the ends.
  3. a bend or curve in the shore of a sea or river.
  4. a body of water bounded by such a bend.
  5. a bay or gulf.
verb (used with object)
  1. to fasten with a bight of rope.

Origin of bight

before 1000; Middle English byght, Old English byht bend, bay; cognate with Dutch bocht, German Bucht; akin to bow1
Can be confusedbight bite byte Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for bighting


  1. a wide indentation of a shoreline, or the body of water bounded by such a curve
  2. the slack middle part of an extended rope
  3. a curve or loop in a rope
  1. (tr) to fasten or bind with a bight

Word Origin for bight

Old English byht; see bow ²


  1. the Bight Australian informal the major indentation of the S coast of Australia, from Cape Pasley in W Australia to the Eyre Peninsula in S AustraliaIn full: the Great Australian Bight
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bighting



Old English byht "bend, angle, corner" (related to bow), from Proto-Germanic *buhtiz (cf. Middle Low German bucht, German Bucht, Dutch bocht, Danish bught "bight, bay"), from PIE root *bheug- (3) "to bend," with derivatives referring to bent, pliable, or curved objects (cf. Old English beag, Old High German boug "ring;" see bow (v.)). Sense of "indentation on a coastline" is from late 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

bighting in Science


  1. A long, gradual bend or curve in a shoreline. A bight can be larger than a bay, or it can be a segment of a bay.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.