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tighten verb

1 become/make sth firmer/tighter

ADV. fractionally, a little, slightly | convulsively, involuntarily Her fingers tightened convulsively with every jolt she received. | painfully | up Can you tighten up the bolts for me?

VERB + TIGHTEN seem to | feel sth, sense sth He felt his stomach tighten. | make sth His words made her throat tighten.

PREP. about/around/round His hand tightened painfully around her wrist. | on Her grip seemed to tighten on the door handle. | in He saw his father's jaw tighten in irritation. | into His mouth tightened into a thin hard line. | with Her face tightened with pain.

2 make sth more strict

ADV. considerably

VERB + TIGHTEN take steps to Steps were taken to tighten discipline in the school.

PREP. up The law in this area has been tightened up considerably.