tightens, tightening, tightened
1) V-ERG If you tighten your grip on something, or if your grip tightens, you hold the thing more firmly or securely.

[V n] Luke answered by tightening his grip on her shoulder...

[V prep] Her arms tightened about his neck in gratitude...

Stefano's grip tightened and his tone became colder.

2) V-ERG If you tighten a rope or chain, or if it tightens, it is stretched or pulled hard until it is straight.

[V n] The anchorman flung his whole weight back, tightening the rope...

The cables tightened and he was lifted gradually from the deck.

3) V-ERG If a government or organization tightens its grip on a group of people or an activity, or if its grip tightens, it begins to have more control over it.

[V n] He knows he has considerable support for his plans to tighten his grip on the machinery of central government...

As the regime's grip on the mainland tightened over the next few years, hundreds of thousands more people fled south.

4) VERB When you tighten a screw, nut, or other device, you turn it or move it so that it is more firmly in place or holds something more firmly.

[V n] I used my thumbnail to tighten the screw on my lamp...

[V n] All the bolts were fully tightened.

Tighten up means the same as tighten.

Also V n P V P n (not pron) It's important to tighten up the wheels properly, otherwise they vibrate loose and fall off.

5) VERB If a part of your body tightens, the muscles in it become tense and stiff, for example because you are angry or afraid.

Sofia's throat had tightened and she couldn't speak...

She saw his jaw tighten and his face lose its colour.

Derived words:
tightening N-UNCOUNT usu N of n

...a headache caused by tension which results in tightening of the muscles in the neck.

...a slight tightening of the throat.

6) VERB If someone in authority tightens a rule, a policy, or a system, they make it stricter or more efficient.

[V n] The United States plans to tighten the economic sanctions currently in place...

[V n] They have tightened security along the border...

[V n] Take-off and landing procedures have been tightened after two jets narrowly escaped disaster.

Derived words:
tightening N-UNCOUNT oft N of n

...the tightening of state control over press and broadcasting.

Tighten up means the same as tighten.

V P n (not pron) Until this week, every attempt to tighten up the law had failed... Also V n P V P on n He accused ministers of breaking election pledges to tighten up on immigration.

7) to tighten your beltsee belt
to tighten the screwsee screw
Phrasal Verbs:

English dictionary. 2008.

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  • tighten — UK [ˈtaɪt(ə)n] / US or tighten up UK / US verb Word forms tighten : present tense I/you/we/they tighten he/she/it tightens present participle tightening past tense tightened past participle tightened Word forms tighten up : present tense… …   English dictionary

  • Tighten Up — may refer to: Tighten Up (Archie Bell the Drells album) Tighten Up (Archie Bell the Drells song) Tighten Up (Electronic song) Tighten Up (The Black Keys song) Tighten Up, a 1960s series of reggae compilation albums issued by Trojan Records See… …   Wikipedia

  • tighten — UK US /ˈtaɪtən/ verb [I or T] ► (also tighten up) GOVERNMENT, LAW to make a rule, system, or law stronger and more difficult to ignore: tighten controls/rules/regulation »There were renewed calls to tighten controls on imported products. ►… …   Financial and business terms

  • Tighten — Tight en, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Tightened}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Tightening}.] To draw tighter; to straiten; to make more close in any manner. [1913 Webster] Just where I please, with tightened rein I ll urge thee round the dusty plain. Fawkes. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • tighten — index adhere (fasten), constrict (compress) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • tighten — (v.) to make tight, 1727; the earlier verb was simply tight, from O.E. tyhtan, from the root of TIGHT (Cf. tight). Related: Tightened; tightening …   Etymology dictionary

  • tighten — [v] constrict bind, clench, close, compress, condense, congeal, contract, cramp, crush, fasten, fix, grip, harden, narrow, pinch, pressure, rigidify, screw, secure, squeeze, stiffen, strain, strangle, stretch, tauten, tense, toughen; concepts 250 …   New thesaurus

  • tighten — [tīt′ n] vt., vi. to make or become tight or tighter tightener n …   English World dictionary

  • tighten — tight|en [ˈtaıtn] v also tighten up 1.) [T] to close or fasten something firmly by turning it ≠ ↑loosen ▪ Tighten the screws firmly. ▪ I d put the new tyre on, but I hadn t tightened up the wheel. 2.) [I and T] if you tighten a rope, wire etc, or …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • tighten — tight|en [ taıtn ] verb ** 1. ) transitive to turn something such as a screw or cover until it is tight and you cannot turn it any more 2. ) transitive to pull something such as a rope or belt until it is straighter or fits more tightly around… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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