tight ship

Idioms & Phrases

tight ship

A well-managed organization, as in The camp director runs a tight ship. This metaphoric term alludes to a ship in which the ropes are taut and by extension the ship is strictly managed. [Second half of 1900s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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