or tit·ti·vate

[ tit-uh-veyt ]
/ ˈtɪt əˌveɪt /

verb (used with object), tit·i·vat·ed, tit·i·vat·ing.

to make smart or spruce: She titivated her old dress with a new belt.

verb (used without object), tit·i·vat·ed, tit·i·vat·ing.

to make oneself smart or spruce.

Nearby words

  1. titillate,
  2. titillating,
  3. titillation,
  4. titipounamu,
  5. titius-bode law,
  6. titlark,
  7. title,
  8. title catalog,
  9. title deed,
  10. title entry

Origin of titivate

1795–1805; earlier tidivate (tidy + (ele)vate; i.e., tidy up)

Related formstit·i·va·tion, nountit·i·va·tor, noun


[ tit-uh-veyt ]
/ ˈtɪt əˌveɪt /

verb (used with object), tit·i·vat·ed, tit·i·vat·ing.

Origin of titivate

First recorded in 1910–15; by erroneous association

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

Examples from the Web for titivate

  • They said that when he saw the shearers coming he'd say, "Run and titivate yourself, Mary; here comes the shearers!"

  • You titivate yourself, and we'll dine at the Savoy, or anywhere you please.

  • Gravely and calmly he draws brushes and so on from a receptacle under the box-seat, and commences to titivate himself.

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for titivate



/ (ˈtɪtɪˌveɪt) /


to smarten up (oneself or another), as by making up, doing the hair, etc
(tr) to smarten up (a thing)to titivate a restaurant
Derived Formstitivation or tittivation, nountitivator or tittivator, noun

Word Origin for titivate

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