from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. As tight as can be made by the strength of one's hand wielding a standard tool: that is, without special equipment or leverage.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. As tight as can be made by the hand.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Nautical, tight as may be made by the hand; moderately tight. Also hand-taut.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Doriguzzi said the hydrant cap was only hand-tight, indicating someone had tampered with it, since firefighters tighten the caps enough that it takes mechanical help to open them.
One might be extremely tight, then a quite loose one, just barely past hand-tight, followed by another extremely tight.