tighten up


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tighten something up

to make something tighter. Tighten your seat belt up. It looks loose. Can you tighten up all the bolts?
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tighten up

 
1. Lit. [for something] to get tighter. The door hinges began to tighten up, making the door hard to open and close. His grip around the handle tightened up and he refused to let go.
2. Fig. [for someone or a group] to become miserly. The government tightened up and our budget was slashed. We almost went out of business when we couldn't get credit because the bank tightened up.
3. Fig. [for someone or something] to become more restrictive. The boss is tightening up on new hiring. There are more rules and the people who enforce them are tightening up.
See also: tighten, up

tighten up

v.
1. To make something tight or tighter: I pulled on the ends of the string to tighten up the knot. The mechanic tightened the bolts up with a rachet. This exercise will tighten up your stomach muscles. Tighten your belt up so your pants don't fall down.
2. To become tight or tighter: I knew I had a fish when the line suddenly tightened up. After the run, I walked around the track so my muscles wouldn't tighten up. I tightened up on the handlebars as I went over the bump.
3. To make something more strict or secure: The government is trying to tighten up the tax code. The country has tightened its borders up to prevent drug smuggling.
4. To become more strict or secure: Airline security has tightened up, and now all luggage must be scanned.
5. To make something more disciplined: The company is tightening up their management in an effort to reduce wasteful spending. The author has tightened the story up by deleting irrelevant details.
6. To become more disciplined: The team has tightened up under the leadership of the new coach.
See also: tighten, up
References in periodicals archive ?
A: Your triceps are the muscles that are on the back of your arms, and this is an area that most women want to tighten up.
First, Samina applied a tiny current through two hand-held terminals to help tighten up the muscles around my bottom.
Obviously, something more is required to tighten up on the receivers and anticipate their patterns.
STUART PEARCE has confirmed he is looking to bring Tunisia full-back Hatem Trabelsi to Manchester City from Dutch giants Ajax as he aims to tighten up the Eastlands club's defence.
If we tighten up and remain patient, I'm sure we will rise again.