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[uhp-tahyt] /ˈʌpˈtaɪt/
adjective, Slang.
tense, nervous, or jittery.
annoyed or angry.
stiffly conventional in manner or attitudes.
Origin of uptight
1960-65, Americanism; up (perhaps as intensifier) + tight
Related forms
uptightness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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British Dictionary definitions for uptight


adjective (informal)
displaying tense repressed nervousness, irritability, or anger
unable to give expression to one's feelings, personality, etc
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 uptight

"tense," slang, 1934, from up + tight. Meaning "straight-laced" first recorded 1969. It was used in a sense of "excellent" in jazz slang c.1962.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for uptight

up the wall

adjective phrase

Crazy; wild; nutty: It doesn't drive us crazy. At least, I don't know anybody who is up the wall about it

Related Terms

drive someone up the wall

[1951+; fr the image of insane persons, frantic and deprived drug addicts, wild animals, etc, trying to climb a wall to escape]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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