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taut

[tawt] /tɔt/
adjective, tauter, tautest.
1.
tightly drawn; tense; not slack.
2.
emotionally or mentally strained or tense:
taut nerves.
3.
in good order or condition; tidy; neat.
Origin of taut
1275-1325
1275-1325; earlier taught, Middle English tought; akin to tow1
Related forms
tautly, adverb
tautness, noun
untaut, adjective
untautly, adverb
untautness, noun
Can be confused
taught, taut, taunt.
Synonyms
3. trim, trig, spruce, smart.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for tautly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But the skin of her face and her bare upper body was a warm color, and tautly filled.

    Star Performer Robert J. Shea
  • Leaning forward, tautly, "But how do you expect to do this?"

    The Sensitive Man Poul William Anderson
  • She quivered to that like a tautly strung lyre touched by a skilful hand.

  • I have drawn the line, for example, squarely and tautly on burglars.

  • The state of a top-sail yard when it arches in the centre from hoisting it too tautly.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • Hunched over the throttles, peering tensely ahead, he was tautly estimating speed and direction.

  • With nerves as tautly drawn as fiddle strings, she remained very still.

    The Secret of the Storm Country Grace Miller White
  • When the second dawn came, the Bunch were all tautly and wearily alert again, peering ahead, across dun desert.

    The Planet Strappers Raymond Zinke Gallun
British Dictionary definitions for tautly

taut

/tɔːt/
adjective
1.
tightly stretched; tense
2.
showing nervous strain; stressed
3.
(mainly nautical) in good order; neat
Derived Forms
tautly, adverb
tautness, noun
Word Origin
C14 tought; probably related to Old English togian to tow1
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 tautly

taut

adj.

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
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