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[dit-ee] /ˈdɪt i/
noun, plural ditties.
a poem intended to be sung.
a short, simple song.
verb (used without object), dittied, dittying.
Obsolete. to sing.
verb (used with object), dittied, dittying.
Obsolete. to set to or celebrate in music.
Origin of ditty
1250-1300; Middle English dite < Anglo-French, Old French dit(i)e poem, noun use of past participle of ditier to compose < Latin dictāre; see dictate Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for ditty
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This to his own horse and off he would go, humming some ditty to the lazy hobble of his nag.

    Lords of the North A. C. Laut
  • That is not in the tone of the ditty sung by the Tripe Skewer.

  • What business had Jack Turner to be singing that ditty under his window?

    The Girls of St. Olave's Mabel Mackintosh
  • And thereupon he began a ditty he had composed during the war.

  • You and a million others recite that ditty, or variations of it every day of the week.

    Unspecialist Murray F. Yaco
  • Not unless you are Lancashire born and bred, for it is a complete Lancashire ditty.

    Mary Barton

    Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
  • "I hope you will never salute my ears with your American ditty," said Lady Keith.

    The Wide, Wide World Susan Warner
  • When out of the castle himself he perceived, His voice in a ditty again he upheaved.

    Signelil Anonymous
British Dictionary definitions for ditty


noun (pl) -ties
a short simple song or poem
Word Origin
C13: from Old French ditie poem, from ditier to compose, from Latin dictāredictate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ditty

"short song," c.1300, from Old French ditie "composition, poem, treatise," from Latin dictatum "thing dictated," neuter past participle of dictare "dictate" (see dictate (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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