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noun, plural dit·ties.
  1. a poem intended to be sung.
  2. a short, simple song.
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verb (used without object), dit·tied, dit·ty·ing.
  1. Obsolete. to sing.
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verb (used with object), dit·tied, dit·ty·ing.
  1. Obsolete. to set to or celebrate in music.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

jingle, tune, ballad, composition

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British Dictionary definitions for ditty


noun plural -ties
  1. a short simple song or poem
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Word Origin

C13: from Old French ditie poem, from ditier to compose, from Latin dictāre dictate
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 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.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper