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or tittivate

[tit-uh-veyt] /ˈtɪt əˌveɪt/
verb (used with object), titivated, titivating.
to make smart or spruce:
She titivated her old dress with a new belt.
verb (used without object), titivated, titivating.
to make oneself smart or spruce.
Origin of titivate1
1795-1805; earlier tidivate (tidy + (ele)vate; i.e., tidy up)
Related forms
titivation, noun
titivator, noun


[tit-uh-veyt] /ˈtɪt əˌveɪt/
verb (used with object), titivated, titivating.
1910-15; by erroneous association Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for titivate
Historical Examples
  • I'll give them half an hour's study whilst you wash up the tea things and titivate.

    Mrs. Warren's Daughter Sir Harry Johnston
  • You titivate yourself, and we'll dine at the Savoy, or anywhere you please.

    Tales of the Five Towns Arnold Bennett
  • Let me go down and settle whilst you call in your black man and titivate a bit.

    The Virginians William Makepeace Thackeray
  • They said that when he saw the shearers coming he'd say, "Run and titivate yourself, Mary; here comes the shearers!"

    Children of the Bush Henry Lawson
  • Gravely and calmly he draws brushes and so on from a receptacle under the box-seat, and commences to titivate himself.

    Brighter Britain! (Volume 1 of 2) William Delisle Hay
British Dictionary definitions for titivate


to smarten up (oneself or another), as by making up, doing the hair, etc
(transitive) to smarten up (a thing): to titivate a restaurant
Derived Forms
titivation, tittivation, noun
titivator, tittivator, noun
Word Origin
C19: earlier tidivate, perhaps based on tidy and cultivate
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 titivate

1805, perhaps from tidy with a quasi-Latin ending.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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