noun (used with a plural verb)

a skin-tight, one-piece garment for the lower part of the body and the legs, now often made of stretch fabric, originally worn by dancers, acrobats, gymnasts, etc., and later made for general wear for adults and children.
a leotard with legs and, sometimes, feet.

Origin of tights

1825–35; noun use of tight; see -s3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for tights

hosiery, pantyhose, hose, nylons, leotard, leggings

Examples from the Web for tights

Contemporary Examples of tights

Historical Examples of tights

  • See him in tights you'd think he could slip through a wedding-ring.

  • It was not very heavy: tights, spangled skirts, faded flowers.

    The Bill-Toppers

    Andre Castaigne

  • You wear the tights and silken hose of last evening's banquet.


    William Makepeace Thackeray

  • And on the first opportunity he did get into tights, viz., as the brigand.

    Pickwickian Studies

    Percy Fitzgerald

  • The tights, however, should be worn only when one is out of doors.

    The Woman Beautiful

    Helen Follett Stevans

British Dictionary definitions for tights


pl n

  1. Also called (US, Canadian, Austral, and NZ): pantyhosea one-piece clinging garment covering the body from the waist to the feet, worn by women in place of stockings
  2. Also called: leotards US and Canadiana similar, tight-fitting garment worn instead of trousers by either sex
a similar garment formerly worn by men, as in the 16th century with a doublet
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 tights

1827, "tight-fitting breeches," from tight. Meaning "skin-tights worn by dancers, acrobats, etc." is attested from 1836.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper