1 [tat-ee]
adjective, tattier, tattiest.
cheap or tawdry; vulgar: a tatty production of a Shakespearean play.
shabby or ill-kempt; ragged; untidy: an old house with dirty windows and tatty curtains.

1505–15; tat rag (probably back formation from tatter1) + -y1

tattily, adverb
tattiness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged


2 [tat-ee]
noun, plural tatties.
(in India) a screen, usually made of coarse, fragrant fibers, placed over a window or door and kept moistened with water in order to cool and deodorize the room.
Also, tattie.

1785–95; < Hindi ṭaṭṭī

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To tatty
World English Dictionary
tattie or tatty (ˈtætɪ)
n , pl -ties
a Scot or dialect word for potato
tatty or tatty

tatty (ˈtætɪ)
adj , -tier, -tiest
chiefly (Brit) worn out, shabby, tawdry, or unkempt
[C16: of Scottish origin, probably related to Old English tættec a tatter]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1513, "tangled or matted" (of hair), Scottish, probably related to O.E. tættec "a rag" (see tatter). Sense of "tattered, ragged, shabby" first recorded 1933.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Sometimes a tatty garden space looks almost too dismal to tackle.
As in many such films, the awful costumes and tatty sets actually help the film's jokey atmosphere rather than hinder it.
The tatty old reception hall has already been transformed into an impressive welcome room.
But at the outskirts of the capitals the prosperity fades out in bleak housing estates, tatty factories, bumpy roads.
Related Words
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature