tat·​ty | \ ˈta-tē How to pronounce tatty (audio) \
tattier; tattiest

Definition of tatty

: rather worn, frayed, or dilapidated : shabby a tatty shirt

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Other Words from tatty

tattiness \ ˈta-​tē-​nəs How to pronounce tattiness (audio) \ noun

Examples of tatty in a Sentence

the owner has let the restaurant become increasingly tatty over the years

Recent Examples on the Web

Cases are heard in tatty courtrooms with computer systems that often fail. The Economist, "Britain’s magistrates are in a funk. The time is right for reform," 22 June 2019 Slumped in his Beijing hospital bed in tatty ward-issue pajamas, the 69-year-old is a warren of aches and scuffs, and sports a whopping frostbite sore on each of his two cheeks. Charlie Campbell / Beijing, Time, "'I Hate It.' Double-Amputee Climber Xia Boyu Vows Never to Return to Everest," 14 June 2018 Sitting alone in the dock wearing a tatty orange jump suit, James Ricketson turns around to give the press in the courtroom a wearied shrug. Eli Meixler / Phnom Penh, Time, "Cambodia Is Putting an Australian Filmmaker on Trial for Espionage. His Family Says He's Innocent," 15 June 2018 What’s Nicole Kidman doing here as Boadicea, a tatty club impresario and wannabe style guru who envisions Zan as the Next Big Thing? Ty Burr, BostonGlobe.com, "‘How to Talk to Girls’ makes a Mothership connection," 30 May 2018 Mayor Eddie DeLoach says — and its historic downtown, which once evinced a tatty charm, has been burnished to a high gloss. Richard Fausset, New York Times, "Police’s Shifting Account of Black Man’s Death Raises Questions in Savannah," 28 Apr. 2018 In the center of the room, a ceremonial semi-circle has been set up with a makeshift ring of tatty television monitors playing a selection of Palestine’s video performances from the past 40 years. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "Charlemagne Palestine: Teddy bears to the rescue," 24 Feb. 2018 The town — nestled between the lush, green Grand Cape Mount and the mouth of the 40-square-mile, drop-dead gorgeous Lake Piso — oozes with this tatty yet genteel civility, inhabited by people and ruins. Helene Cooper, New York Times, "My Liberia: A Vacation Paradise," 1 Sep. 2017 This is no time for Democrats to be small, tatty and cheap, to do the old class warfare, to issue one-liners instead of thoughts. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, "Partisanship Is Breaking Both Parties," 28 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tatty.' 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 tatty

1513, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tatty

perhaps akin to Old English tætteca rag — more at tatter

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Dictionary Entries near tatty


tattoo parlor






Statistics for tatty

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tatty

The first known use of tatty was in 1513

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More Definitions for tatty



English Language Learners Definition of tatty

informal : old and in poor condition

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More from Merriam-Webster on tatty

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tatty

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tatty

Spanish Central: Translation of tatty

Comments on tatty

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characterized by aphorism

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