tight or taut

Tight vs Taut? What’s the Difference in Meaning ?

Tight and taut are two words that get confused and mixed up pretty often. They have pretty similar meanings and can be used as synonyms to each other, but they are not the same. What exactly is the difference between the words tight and taut? Let’s take a look.

Tight Meaning

Tight has many different definitions. When used as an adjective, tight can mean having several elements close together like a tight formation. Tight can also mean close in structure to prevent the escape of liquid, light, or gas, such as a tight seal.

Tight can also mean close fitting to the body, like a tight pair of jeans. It can also refer to short deadlines, meaning a tight schedule. Tight can refer to having a small radius, like a tight turn. Tight can also mean a sign of unusual tension, like tight lips.

Tight can also be used as a term when referring to finances such as being in a tight spot financially or money being tight. Tight also means firm or strict control such as having tight security for an event. Tight can also mean being close relationship-wise, like being tight with a friend.


Money is tight right now, so there is no room for extra expenses.

You could see how angry she was by how tight her lips were closed.

The parking spot was a tight fit for the SUV, there was barely enough space.

Taut Meaning

When taut is being used as an adjective, it can mean that something is tightly drawn and is giving no slack, such as a taut rope. It can also mean being high-strung or tense, like having taut nerves. As an adjective, taut can also mean kept in order, such as a taut ship.


After a long day of work, she sat down and felt her taut muscles relax.

The rope was pulled as taut as it could possibly be.

The tow rope needs to be taut at all times.

Tight vs. Taut Muscles

Muscles is one of the topics that tight and taut are often confusing. When you are referring to muscles, how do you know which word you are supposed to use? When you are talking about muscle tightness, that is when two ends of a muscle are getting closer together. Muscle tautness is when two ends of a muscle are getting further apart.

Tight muscles will need to be lengthened to get some relief. If you are doing heavy lifting several days a week, you will have tight muscles in your chest and back. To stretch your muscles and lengthen them out, you will need to rub and stretch them.

Taut muscles are generally not long enough, and they are being pulled too tightly. A good example of a taut muscle would be your hamstrings. Hamstrings are usually being stretched and pulled too tightly and they also need to be rubbed and stretched for relief. Resting also helps with taut muscles.

Differences between Taut and Tight

Tight and taut are two words with pretty similar meanings. Tight refers more to holding things together and how close things are. Taut refers to things that are drawn tightly and kept in order. The words are not interchangeable because although they are similar, they are not the same.

In other words, tight means that two ends of something are very close together. Taut means that two ends of something are being pulled further apart from each other. When it comes to muscles, it is incredibly important to know the difference between tight and taut so you can properly treat the muscles.