Taught vs. Taut

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Taught is the past tense of teach, to give instruction or impart knowledge. Related words are teaches and teaching. Taught is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Taught comes from the Old English tahte, past tense of the Old English word taecan.

Taut is an adjective which means pulled tight, tense and strained, controlled. Related words are tautly, tautness. The verb form is tauten. Taut comes to us from the mid-thirteenth century tohte or Middle English toght, meaning stretched or pulled tight.


What this Southern Mama taught me about hospitality is to make sure your guests know you care about them. (The Huffington Post)

Children as young as five will be taught the importance of key health messages, including the benefits of taking exercise, eating healthy food, washing hands and staying hydrated. (The National)

So a Chinese physicist who is doing his post-doctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology wondered if college physics could be taught the same way that coaches teach soccer, and get better results. (U.S. News & World Report)

Selma Blair flaunts her taut tummy in metallic two-piece as she takes a break from filming American Crime Story for art bash (The Daily Mail)

Talvar review: A sharp narrative makes it taut, gripping thriller (The Hindustan Times)

(The symbolism of the lost bougainvillea bush — sudden fame, lost childhood — lies taut and largely unexplored.) (The Washington Post)

There needs to be an air of taut elegance, conservative but crisp. (The San Francisco Chronicle)

Wallace Roney’s music is a tough, taut and intransigent continuation of the arcane forms and structured freedoms of Miles Davis’s 1960s quintet. (The Financial Times)

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