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[tat-ee] /ˈtæt i/
adjective, tattier, tattiest.
cheap or tawdry; vulgar:
a tatty production of a Shakespearean play.
shabby or ill-kempt; ragged; untidy:
an old house with dirty windows and tatty curtains.
Origin of tatty1
1505-15; tat rag (probably back formation from tatter1) + -y1
Related forms
tattily, adverb
tattiness, noun


or tattie

[tat-ee] /ˈtæt i/
noun, plural tatties.
(in India) a screen, usually made of coarse, fragrant fibers, placed over a window or door and kept moistened with water in order to cool and deodorize the room.
First recorded in 1785-95, tatty is from the Hindi word ṭaṭṭī Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for tatty


adjective -tier, -tiest
(mainly Brit) worn out, shabby, tawdry, or unkempt
Derived Forms
tattily, adverb
tattiness, noun
Word Origin
C16: of Scottish origin, probably related to Old English tættec a tatter
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 tatty

1510s, "tangled or matted" (of hair), Scottish, probably related to Old English tættec "a rag" (see tatter). Sense of "tattered, ragged, shabby" first recorded 1933.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for tatty



Inferior; cheap; shoddy; tacky: have met overlunch in tatty banquet halls to press the flesh (1933+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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