adjective, taut·er, taut·est.

tightly drawn; tense; not slack.
emotionally or mentally strained or tense: taut nerves.
in good order or condition; tidy; neat.

Origin of taut

1275–1325; earlier taught, Middle English tought; akin to tow1
Related formstaut·ly, adverbtaut·ness, nounun·taut, adjectiveun·taut·ly, adverbun·taut·ness, noun
Can be confusedtaught taut taunt

Synonyms for taut

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for tauter

tense, close, firm, snug, stiff, strained, trim, unyielding, stressed, stretched

Examples from the Web for tauter

Contemporary Examples of tauter

Historical Examples of tauter

  • Carl's own nerves grew tauter and tauter as he saw the manager's restless foot and the mechanic's tension.

    The Trail of the Hawk

    Sinclair Lewis

  • Stays and braces grew tauter and tauter, studden sail-booms cracked, and the topgallant masts bent like willow wands.

    Marmaduke Merry

    William H. G. Kingston

  • The rope was clearly getting “tauter”; discipline was gradually assuming its sway, the circles around me smaller and smaller.

  • Every step it became tauter and tauter, until at last you might have played a tune upon it.

    Follow My leader

    Talbot Baines Reed

British Dictionary definitions for tauter



tightly stretched; tense
showing nervous strain; stressed
mainly nautical in good order; neat
Derived Formstautly, adverbtautness, noun

Word Origin for taut

C14 tought; probably related to Old English togian to tow 1
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 tauter



early 14c., tohte, possibly from tog-, past participle stem of Old English teon "to pull, drag," from Proto-Germanic *tugn, from PIE *deuk- "to lead" (see duke (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper