adjective, un·ti·di·er, un·ti·di·est.

not tidy or neat; slovenly; disordered: an untidy room; an untidy person.
not well-organized or carried out: an untidy plan.

verb (used with object), un·ti·died, un·ti·dy·ing.

to mess up; disorder; disarrange: The guests untidied the room.

Origin of untidy

Middle English word dating back to 1175–1225; see origin at un-1, tidy
Related formsun·ti·di·ly, adverbun·ti·di·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for untidily

Historical Examples of untidily

  • I saw the shape of a man, untidily swathed in reddened bandages.

    The Lost Continent

    C. J. Cutcliffe Hyne

  • It is partly covered with rough stucco, which is peeling off untidily in patches.

    The Thames

    G. E. Mitton

  • But this carcass was torn and mangled most untidily; and the Boy divined the culprits.

    The Kindred of the Wild

    Charles G. D. Roberts

  • A mass of papers, books, and correspondence littered it untidily.

  • The paper was soiled and untidily folded, but the drawing was clear.

British Dictionary definitions for untidily


adjective -dier or -diest

not neat; slovenly

verb -dies, -dying or -died

(tr) to make untidy
Derived Formsuntidily, adverbuntidiness, 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

Word Origin and History for untidily



early 13c., "untimely, unseasonable, unsuitable," from un- (1) "not" + tidy (adj.). Cf. West Frisian ontidich, Middle Dutch ontidich, Dutch ontijdig, Old High German unzitich, German unzeitig, Norwegian utidig "untimely, unseasonable, unfavorable." Meaning "poorly cared for, not neat" is recorded from mid-14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper