[ tif ]
/ tɪf /


a slight or petty quarrel.
a slight fit of annoyance, bad mood, or the like.

verb (used without object)

to have a petty quarrel.
to be in a tiff.

Nearby words

  1. tierfellnaevus,
  2. tierra del fuego,
  3. tiers état,
  4. tietze's syndrome,
  5. tietê,
  6. tiffanie,
  7. tiffany,
  8. tiffany glass,
  9. tiffany setting,
  10. tiffany, charles lewis

Origin of tiff

First recorded in 1720–30; origin uncertain

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tiff

British Dictionary definitions for tiff


/ (tɪf) /


a petty quarrel
a fit of ill humour


(intr) to have or be in a tiff

Word Origin for tiff

C18: of unknown origin


archaic a small draught of alcoholic drink; dram

Word Origin for tiff

C18: see tiffin

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 tiff



1727, "outburst of temper," later "small quarrel" (1754), of uncertain origin; OED suggests imitative, "from the sound of a slight puff of air or gas."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper