- to make smart or spruce: She titivated her old dress with a new belt.
- to make oneself smart or spruce.
Origin of titivate1
Origin of titivate2
First recorded in 1910–15; by erroneous association
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for titivate
You titivate yourself, and we'll dine at the Savoy, or anywhere you please.Tales of the Five Towns
I'll give them half an hour's study whilst you wash up the tea things and titivate.Mrs. Warren's Daughter
Sir Harry Johnston
They said that when he saw the shearers coming he'd say, "Run and titivate yourself, Mary; here comes the shearers!"Children of the Bush
Gravely and calmly he draws brushes and so on from a receptacle under the box-seat, and commences to titivate himself.Brighter Britain! (Volume 1 of 2)
William Delisle Hay
Let me go down and settle whilst you call in your black man and titivate a bit.The Virginians
William Makepeace Thackeray
- to smarten up (oneself or another), as by making up, doing the hair, etc
- (tr) to smarten up (a thing)to titivate a restaurant
C19: earlier tidivate, perhaps based on tidy and cultivate
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
Word Origin and History for titivate
1805, perhaps from tidy with a quasi-Latin ending.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper