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 untidy

Contemporary Examples of untidy

Historical Examples of untidy

  • There could be no doubt of it—the captain was a most untidy man.

    A Nest of Spies

    Pierre Souvestre

  • Leonard, though furtive, was untidy, and left it lying about.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • And though, as James had said, the place was untidy, he saw nothing and none of it.

  • He looked at me for a minute or two, pulling his untidy beard.

    The Moon and Sixpence

    W. Somerset Maugham

  • About every thing in which it is possible to be so, she is untidy.

    The Teacher

    Jacob Abbott

British Dictionary definitions for untidy


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 untidy

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