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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 object), verb (used 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 tidiness
Historical Examples
  • Helpful, business-like, she approached the table, a gleam spelling order and tidiness in her eye.

    Antony Gray,--Gardener Leslie Moore
  • tidiness is worth more to a business man than most of them realize.

  • A bad beginning, as many of our rules had reference to tidiness.

    Mrs. Overtheway's Remembrances Juliana Horatia Ewing
  • Rags and tidiness, filth and cleanliness, lay almost touching.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • There was an atmosphere of cleanliness, tidiness, and thrift not found in other settlements along the Yukon.

    Alaska Ella Higginson
  • They know every plant and its value, but they care little about tidiness.

    Last Words Juliana Horatia Ewing
  • The broad asphalt traffic lanes were gone, and so was the tidiness of the park lawns.

    Mr. Wicker's Window Carley Dawson
  • I began to form my own opinion of the tidiness now, but said nothing.

  • Even his inveterate want of tidiness indicates a careless mind.

    India and the Indians Edward F. Elwin
  • It is that of tidiness, and its effect on the nervous system.

British Dictionary definitions for tidiness


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 tidiness



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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