This is a sentence I read from a book and I don't understand the meaning of it.

'The snow, sparse but bright on the ground ,reflects the light on to her face, which is drawn tight in an attempt to see.'

This is the scene that woman A is outside of the house looking for something in the garden and woman B, who has been inside, is about to go outside to talk with woman A. And the sentence above is describing woman B.

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    She is squinting in the bright light, which causes the muscles near the eye to become taut ("drawn tight").
    – TimR
    Commented May 20, 2015 at 10:59

1 Answer 1


To draw can mean to pull back something with tension, particularly when talking about a bow and arrow.

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    Yes, but note that a drawn face normally implies a face that appears tired, haggard (often with slack, droopy, wrinkled rather than taut skin). Which is probably one reason why the author here chose to include the word tight to make sure the intended image was invoked (a "scrunched-up" face, as the subject attempts to focus in bright light). Commented May 20, 2015 at 14:09

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