adj. taut·er, taut·est
a. Pulled or drawn tight; not slack. See Synonyms at tight.
b. Flexed or not loose: taut muscles.
c. Strained or tense: taut nerves.
a. Kept in good order; trim: a taut ship.
b. Marked by the efficient, sparing, or concise use of something, such as language or detail: a taut movie script.
[Middle English tohte, distended, perhaps ultimately from Old English togian, to drag; see TOW1.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.