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[bahyt] /baɪt/
the middle part of a rope, as distinguished from the ends.
the loop or bent part of a rope, as distinguished from the ends.
a bend or curve in the shore of a sea or river.
a body of water bounded by such a bend.
a bay or gulf.
verb (used with object)
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 confused
bight, bite, byte. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for bight
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They were on the best tack, to all appearances, and that was the old one, or the same leg that had carried them into the bight.

    The Sea Lions James Fenimore Cooper
  • A further involution makes what is termed a bowline on a bight.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • The single is rove with three single blocks, or two single blocks and a hook in the bight of one of the running parts.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • "I won't," replied Noddy, as he perched himself on the bight of the jib-stay.

    Work and Win Oliver Optic
  • Bringing his wrists together, he struck at the Arab with the bight of the iron chain.

    Captured at Tripoli Percy F. Westerman
  • The line has fallen just over his shoulders, and he has got the bight of it.

    The White Squall John Conroy Hutcheson
  • In quest of these she ran up the bight of Benin; and here, close in with the coast, we presently raised a large school.

  • “We are still too far for me to heave the bight over his shoulders,” cried Terence.

    Peter the Whaler W.H.G. Kingston
  • Peaks, on the main topmast-stay, caught Howe in the very act of passing the gasket through the bight of the buntline.

    Down the Rhine Oliver Optic
British Dictionary definitions for bight


a wide indentation of a shoreline, or the body of water bounded by such a curve
the slack middle part of an extended rope
a curve or loop in a rope
(transitive) to fasten or bind with a bight
Word Origin
Old English byht; see bow²


(Austral, informal) the Bight, the major indentation of the S coast of Australia, from Cape Pasley in W Australia to the Eyre Peninsula in S Australia In 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
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Word Origin and History for bight

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
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bight in Science
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 © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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