Word of the Day

Monday, February 20, 2006


\TIT-uh-vayt\ , transitive and intransitive verb;
To make decorative additions to; spruce.
intransitive verb:
To make oneself smart or spruce.
It's easy to laugh at a book in which the heroine's husband says to her, "You look beautiful," and then adds, "So stop titivating yourself."
-- Joyce Cohen, review of To Be the Best, by Barbara Taylor Bradford, New York Times, July 31, 1988
In The Idle Class, when Chaplin is titivating in a hotel room, the cloth on his dressing table rides up and down, caught in the same furious gusts.
-- Peter Conrad, Modern Times, Modern Places
She works in Make-Up at Heartland, and sits in the wings during recordings of The People Next Door, ready to dart forward and titivate Debbie's hair when required, or powder the actors' noses if they get shiny under the lights.
-- David Lodge, Therapy
Titivate is perhaps from tidy + the quasi-Latin ending -vate. When the word originally came into the language, it was written tidivate or tiddivate. The noun form is titivation.
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