\ ˈspif How to pronounce spiff (audio) \
spiffed; spiffing; spiffs

Definition of spiff

: spruce usually used with up spiff up your wardrobe

Other Words from spiff

spiffed-up \ ˈspift-​ˈəp How to pronounce spiff (audio) \ adjective

titivate, spruce up, smarten up, or spiff up?

Titivate, spruce, smarten, and spiff all mean "to make a person or thing neater or more attractive." Titivate often refers to making small additions or alterations in attire ("titivate the costume with sequins and other accessories"), but it can also be used figuratively (as in "titivating the script for Broadway"). Spruce up is sometimes used for cosmetic changes or renovations that give the appearance of newness ("spruce up the house with new shutters and fresh paint before trying to sell it"). Smarten up and spiff up both mean to improve in appearance often by making more neat or stylish ("the tailor smartened up the suit with minor alterations"; "he needed some time to spiff himself up for the party"). The origins of titivate are uncertain, but it may have been formed from the English words tidy and renovate.

Examples of spiff in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Lacy half-curtains spiff up the windows, arched with stained glass, in the narrow front rooms, one painted the color of mint, the second a shade of peach. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 26 Aug. 2022 Follow these easy steps to spiff up those Converse kicks in no time! Carolyn Forté, Good Housekeeping, 14 June 2022 Now’s the time to spiff up ragged lawns is an article published in August, but the basics are covered. oregonlive, 21 Jan. 2022 Instantly spiff up your look by with the latest arrivals, from shoulder bags to backpacks. oregonlive, 28 May 2021 Further serving to spiff up the place is newly available gray leather upholstery on top-dog SEL trim levels, a welcome addition to an interior color palette that heretofore consisted of black, black, and black, with a splash or two of silver trim. Steve Siler, Car and Driver, 14 May 2021 Instantly spiff up your look by upgrading your purse, phone case or duffel bag, all without paying full price. oregonlive, 10 May 2021 Before the virus, the couple spent $25,000 to update the building and patio, eager to spiff up their building when the road construction ended. Jackie Crosby, Star Tribune, 20 Mar. 2021 The 15-mile Gwynns Falls Trail beckons hikers and bikers; the garden club works to spiff up the landscape. Mike Klingaman, baltimoresun.com, 4 Mar. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spiff.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of spiff

1979, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for spiff

English dialect spiff dandified

Learn More About spiff

Dictionary Entries Near spiff




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for spiff

Last Updated

13 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Spiff.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spiff. Accessed 5 Oct. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!