adjective, ti·di·er, ti·di·est.
  1. neat, orderly, or trim, as in appearance or dress: a tidy room; a tidy person.
  2. clearly organized and systematic: a tidy mind; a tidy way of working.
  3. tolerably good; acceptable: They worked out a tidy arrangement agreeable to all.
  4. fairly large; considerable: a tidy sum.
verb (used with or without object), ti·died, ti·dy·ing.
  1. to make tidy or neat (often followed by up).
noun, plural ti·dies.
  1. any of various articles for keeping things tidy, as a box having small drawers and compartments.
  2. an antimacassar.

Origin of tidy

1200–50; Middle English tidi, tidy seasonable, hence good; cognate with Dutch tijdig. See tide1, -y1
Related formsti·di·ly, adverbti·di·ness, noun

Antonyms for tidy

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tidier

Historical Examples of tidier

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for tidier


adjective -dier or -diest
  1. characterized by or indicating neatness and order
  2. informal considerablea tidy sum of money
verb -dies, -dying or -died
  1. (when intr, usually foll by up) to put (things) in order; neaten
noun plural -dies
    1. a small container in which odds and ends are kept
    2. sink tidya container with holes in the bottom, kept in the sink to retain rubbish that might clog the plug hole
  1. mainly US and Canadian an ornamental protective covering for the back or arms of a chair
Derived Formstidily, adverbtidiness, noun

Word Origin for tidy

C13 (in the sense: timely, seasonable, excellent): from tide 1 + -y 1; 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

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