[ tat-ee ]
See synonyms for tatty on Thesaurus.com
adjective,tat·ti·er, tat·ti·est.
  1. cheap or tawdry; vulgar: a tatty production of a Shakespearean play.

  2. shabby or ill-kempt; ragged; untidy: an old house with dirty windows and tatty curtains.

Origin of tatty

1505–15; tat rag (probably back formation from tatter1) + -y1

Other words from tatty

  • tat·ti·ly, adverb
  • tat·ti·ness, noun

Words Nearby tatty

Other definitions for tatty (2 of 2)


or tat·tie

[ tat-ee ]

noun,plural tat·ties.
  1. (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.

Origin of tatty

First recorded in 1785–95, tatty is from the Hindi word ṭaṭṭī

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use tatty in a sentence

  • Amidst the detritus of old amplifiers, beaten up electric guitars and drum kits was a tatty white plastic bag.

    The Lost Madonna Tapes | Andrew Morton | October 20, 2008 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • Titty and tatty are among the many rhyming compounds of which the meaning is no longer clear.

  • "Titty Mouse and tatty Mouse" also ends in a universal calamity which seems to arise from a cause of no great importance.

  • Titty Mouse gleaned an ear of corn, and tatty Mouse gleaned an ear of corn.

    English Fairy Tales | Flora Annie Steel
  • But when Titty went to put hers in, the pot tumbled over, and scalded her to death, and tatty sat down and wept.

    English Fairy Tales | Flora Annie Steel
  • Titty Mouse went a-gleaning, and tatty Mouse went a-gleaning.

    English Fairy Tales | Flora Annie Steel

British Dictionary definitions for tatty


/ (ˈtætɪ) /

adjective-tier or -tiest
  1. mainly British worn out, shabby, tawdry, or unkempt

Origin of tatty

C16: of Scottish origin, probably related to Old English tættec a tatter

Derived forms of tatty

  • tattily, adverb
  • tattiness, noun

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