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[tahy-dee] /ˈtaɪ di/
adjective, tidier, tidiest.
neat, orderly, or trim, as in appearance or dress:
a tidy room; a tidy person.
clearly organized and systematic:
a tidy mind; a tidy way of working.
tolerably good; acceptable:
They worked out a tidy arrangement agreeable to all.
fairly large; considerable:
a tidy sum.
verb (used with or without object), tidied, tidying.
to make tidy or neat (often followed by up).
noun, plural tidies.
any of various articles for keeping things tidy, as a box having small drawers and compartments.
an antimacassar.
Origin of tidy
1200-50; Middle English tidi, tidy seasonable, hence good; cognate with Dutch tijdig. See tide1, -y1
Related forms
tidily, adverb
tidiness, noun
1. messy, sloppy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for tidily
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "There's plenty for you to do," said Beatrice, fishing out the satchel and putting it tidily away on Gwen's special shelf.

  • She rose from her seat, and put them all tidily away on a side-table.

    How It All Came Round L. T. Meade
  • Yet she appeared hale and strong for her age, and though poorly, was yet tidily attired.

    Her Benny Silas Kitto Hocking
  • A few ravelling threads of this our desultory tale have yet to be gathered up, as tidily as may be.

    Heart Martin Farquhar Tupper
  • Hen, it's up to you to wash all the dishes, and to do it tidily, too.

  • She is tidily and even, for a woman of her age, tastefully dressed, but still with a sober decency that showed her good sense.

  • He learnt to plait the foliage of faded crocuses, and pin them tidily to the ground with little wooden forks.

    Hyacinth George A. Birmingham
  • She was then entreated to dress herself as tidily as possible, but she would only go her own way.

British Dictionary definitions for tidily


adjective -dier, -diest
characterized by or indicating neatness and order
(informal) considerable: a tidy sum of money
verb -dies, -dying, -died
when intr, usually foll by up. to put (things) in order; neaten
noun (pl) -dies
  1. a small container in which odds and ends are kept
  2. sink tidy, a container with holes in the bottom, kept in the sink to retain rubbish that might clog the plug hole
(mainly US & Canadian) an ornamental protective covering for the back or arms of a chair
Derived Forms
tidily, adverb
tidiness, noun
Word Origin
C13 (in the sense: timely, seasonable, excellent): from tide1 + -y1; related to Dutch tijdig timely
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
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Word Origin and History for tidily



mid-13c., probably originally "in season, timely, opportune, excellent," from tide in the sense of "season, time" (see tide). Cf. Old High German zitig, German zeitig, Dutch tijdig, Danish tidig "timely." Meaning "neat and in order" first recorded 1706.


"to make neat, set in order," 1821, from tidy (adj.). Related: Tidied; tidying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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