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[tahy-dee] /ˈtaɪ di/
adjective, tidier, tidiest.
neat, orderly, or trim, as in appearance or dress:
a tidy room; a tidy person.
clearly organized and systematic:
a tidy mind; a tidy way of working.
tolerably good; acceptable:
They worked out a tidy arrangement agreeable to all.
fairly large; considerable:
a tidy sum.
verb (used with or without object), tidied, tidying.
to make tidy or neat (often followed by up).
noun, plural tidies.
any of various articles for keeping things tidy, as a box having small drawers and compartments.
an antimacassar.
Origin of tidy
1200-50; Middle English tidi, tidy seasonable, hence good; cognate with Dutch tijdig. See tide1, -y1
Related forms
tidily, adverb
tidiness, noun
1. messy, sloppy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for tidier
Historical Examples
  • Well, for your own comfort's sake, I think you might keep it tidier, Miss Salome.


    Emma Marshall
  • The house is not any tidier, but at least she stays in it occasionally.

    Marm Lisa Kate Douglas Wiggin
  • At time of visit, though very dirty, they were tidier than ever found before.

    New Worlds For Old Herbert George Wells
  • And we are bound to say that these French manufacturing towns look much cleaner and tidier than their fellows in England.

  • Certainly these little burial-grounds are not tended and cared for as in tidier lands.

    My Country Marie, Queen of Rumania
  • Farther down our chosen street, which soon slipped into a lane, there were tidier homes and more sanitary conditions.

    From Gretna Green to Land's End Katharine Lee Bates
  • None looked starved, there were no deformed people, no beggars, and the natives were tidier and better dressed.

  • An' I'm sure no one keeps a tidier house, an' the little old man sittin' by the chimney corner hurts no one.

    A Little Girl in Old Pittsburg Amanda M. Douglas
  • The doctors at the infirmary said that they knew an Uphill person by the tidier clothing.

    The Carbonels Charlotte M. Yonge
  • A younger and tidier Uncle James, indeed—the same cheery manner, the same robust integrity, and the same small ambition.

    The Amazing Interlude Mary Roberts Rinehart
British Dictionary definitions for tidier


adjective -dier, -diest
characterized by or indicating neatness and order
(informal) considerable: a tidy sum of money
verb -dies, -dying, -died
when intr, usually foll by up. to put (things) in order; neaten
noun (pl) -dies
  1. a small container in which odds and ends are kept
  2. sink tidy, a container with holes in the bottom, kept in the sink to retain rubbish that might clog the plug hole
(mainly US & Canadian) an ornamental protective covering for the back or arms of a chair
Derived Forms
tidily, adverb
tidiness, noun
Word Origin
C13 (in the sense: timely, seasonable, excellent): from tide1 + -y1; related to Dutch tijdig timely
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 tidier



mid-13c., probably originally "in season, timely, opportune, excellent," from tide in the sense of "season, time" (see tide). Cf. Old High German zitig, German zeitig, Dutch tijdig, Danish tidig "timely." Meaning "neat and in order" first recorded 1706.



"to make neat, set in order," 1821, from tidy (adj.). Related: Tidied; tidying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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