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

Definition of spiff

: spruce usually used with upspiff up your wardrobe

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Other Words from spiff

spiffed-up \ ˈspift-​ˈəp How to pronounce spiffed-up (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 Amtrak has spiffed up tired old restrooms at Pennsylvania Station, the busiest transportation hub in the Western Hemisphere, with new terrazzo floors, sleek gray stalls and hands-free faucets and soap dispensers. Winnie Hu, New York Times, "Is This New York City’s Nicest Public Bathroom?," 14 Feb. 2020 And don't forget Scotland Scotland is also busy spiffing up its sights. Rick Steves, USA TODAY, "Traveling to the UK post-Brexit? Here's what you need to know before you go," 11 Feb. 2020 That sofa that now looks dated can be spiffed up with an overload of chic pillows. Barbara Ballinger, chicagotribune.com, "5 ways to freshen up a room this fall," 19 Oct. 2019 The move is Walmart’s latest attempt to spiff up its dowdy fashion business, which delivers higher profit margins than food and everyday staples but has never really caught fire. BostonGlobe.com, "Key site in downtown Weston up for sale," 17 Sep. 2019 Most of them performed well for the network, so expect more spiffed-up, old school game show programs next summer. oregonlive.com, "Summer TV 2019 winners and losers: ‘Succession,’ ‘Stranger Things,’ ‘Instinct,’ and more," 22 Aug. 2019 During their 2015 wedding events, Dolly — whom Aniston had owned for nearly a decade at the time — and the former couple’s pit bull-boxer mix Sophie got spiffed up for the ceremony by Spa Dog. Jen Juneau, PEOPLE.com, "Jennifer Aniston & Justin Theroux Reunite to Say Goodbye to Dog Dolly: 'Most Loyal Family Member'," 29 July 2019 Since Opendoor, Offerpad and Zillow spiff up the houses themselves before putting them back on the market, sellers don’t need to fix drippy faucets or try to appeal to buyers’ tastes. Peter Rudegeair, WSJ, "The Future of Housing Rises in Phoenix," 19 June 2019 The Mann Center, the prime city-country experience for many a summer classical listener, has spiffed up its grounds, which is certain to enhance the pleasure of the place. Peter Dobrin, https://www.inquirer.com, "Classical summer: Bradley Cooper, Harry Potter, piano stars, Yannick debuts at a spiffed-up Mann Center," 5 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of spiff

1877, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for spiff

English dialect spiff dandified

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Time Traveler for spiff

Time Traveler

The first known use of spiff was in 1877

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Statistics for spiff

Cite this Entry

“Spiff.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spiff. Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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