spiffed; spiffing; spiffs
: spruce
usually used with up
spiff up your wardrobe
spiffed-up adjective

Did you know?

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 The retailer has thousands of cargo pants, midi dresses, and blazers to spiff up your closet with finds inspired by the Princess of Wales. Alyssa Grabinski, Peoplemag, 27 Sep. 2023 In late 1986, a book publisher — Harcourt Brace Jovanovich — bought Marineland, pledging to keep it going and even spiff it up. Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times, 17 Aug. 2023 Wang’s viral tweet came amid a recent TikTok trend where people have been using AI products to spiff up their LinkedIn profile photos, creating images that put them in professional attire and corporate-friendly settings with good lighting. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 19 July 2023 Similarly, small nips or nibbling can be part of grooming and your cat could just be trying to spiff you up a little. Stephen C. George, Discover Magazine, 12 July 2023 First impressions are everything in real estate, and one of the most obvious routes to spiff up your rooms is a fresh coat of paint. Anna Fixsen, ELLE Decor, 20 June 2023 From fetching light fixtures to bold backsplashes, designers have no shortage of smart solutions to spiff up those cold culinary quarters. Kelsey Mulvey, ELLE Decor, 6 Apr. 2023 Want to spiff up your vanity table? Sophie Dweck, Town & Country, 16 Nov. 2022 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

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'spiff.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


English dialect spiff dandified

First Known Use

1979, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of spiff was in 1979

Dictionary Entries Near spiff

Cite this Entry

“Spiff.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spiff. Accessed 23 May. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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