ti·​dy | \ ˈtī-dē How to pronounce tidy (audio) \
tidier; tidiest

Definition of tidy

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : neat and orderly in appearance or habits : well ordered and cared for
b : methodical, precise a tidy mind
2 : large, substantial a tidy profit
3 : adequately satisfactory : acceptable, fair a tidy solution to their problem
4 : properly filled out : plump


tidied; tidying

Definition of tidy (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to put in order tidy up a room

intransitive verb

: to make things tidy tidying up after supper


plural tidies

Definition of tidy (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : a usually compartmentalized receptacle for various small objects
2 : a piece of fancywork used to protect the back, arms, or headrest of a chair or sofa from wear or soil

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Other Words from tidy


tidily \ ˈtī-​də-​lē How to pronounce tidily (audio) \ adverb
tidiness \ ˈtī-​dē-​nəs How to pronounce tidiness (audio) \ noun


tidier noun

Examples of tidy in a Sentence

Adjective He has always been a tidy person. She earns a tidy salary. They paid a tidy sum for the house. Verb I tidied the house before they arrived.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Her tidy one-story house is wedged between buildings mimicking New Jersey suburbs and Atlanta’s classic white architecture. The Christian Science Monitor, "Working thousands of miles from home – to build a new one," 7 May 2020 Finally, her mother threatened to call the police to get her daughter back, so my mother’s aunt and uncle reluctantly drove her halfway across the country, from a tidy little farmhouse to a sagging shack in a weedy field. Los Angeles Times, "I hate Mother’s Day because it reminds me of my failings as a daughter," 6 May 2020 Aside from the occasional plaque in a lobby, most buildings don’t come with tidy labels that describe who designed what and when. Steven Litt, cleveland, "Appreciating the modernist houses of architect Jack Bialosky Sr.: space, light, and the quiet modesty of suburban Jewish assimilation," 3 May 2020 Before dawn on the 5th of February, Captain Gennaro Arma sipped espresso in his tidy office, wondering how bad the news would be. Lauren Smiley, Wired, "27 Days in Tokyo Bay: What Happened on the Diamond Princess," 30 Apr. 2020 The tidy row of low boxwoods set in front encloses the garden area. Grace Haynes, Southern Living, "See How One Alabama Family Transformed a Starter House Into Their Forever Home," 25 Apr. 2020 For onlookers, this tidy structure off on its own is a bit of a mystery. Anchorage Daily News, "In Fairbanks, the state virology lab remains busy during a quiet time of pandemic," 25 Apr. 2020 Outside, the Rock Creek package utilizes tidy black trim across the mirrors, badging, roof-rails, door handles, and accents in the front and rear fascia. Sue Mead, Houston Chronicle, "2020 Nissan Pathfinder and a race to get home," 21 Apr. 2020 The blood of sacrifices was applied to these places, making God’s dwelling clean and tidy. Samuel L. Boyd, The Conversation, "A virtual Passover may be the first for many, but Judaism has a long history of ritual innovation," 7 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb From becoming fascinated with the art of tidying at the age of 5 to starting her own organizing business as a university student in Japan, Marie Kondo and her approach to tidying has sparked joy in people all across the globe. Susannah Hutcheson, USA TODAY, "How 'Tidying Up' maven Marie Kondo brought neatness to the world," 25 Jan. 2016 Best-selling author and tidying up expert Marie Kondo, who once had us in a tizzy organizing our home and getting rid of belongings that didn't spark joy, is now offering tips on how to achieve calmness through the art of organization. Kathryn Vasel, CNN, "No one likes a micromanager: Here's how to deal with one," 5 May 2020 Decoration Day began in 1860 as a spring cleaning of sorts, a community dutifully gathering to tidy up its cemetery. Marc Ramirez, Dallas News, "After 133 years, a memorial feast of fried pies, chicken and more in Kaufman County is derailed by pandemic," 25 Apr. 2020 On a recent afternoon, a man missing half his left leg used his right foot to propel his wheelchair around the space, wielding a little red broom and dustpan to tidy it up. Heather Knight, SFChronicle.com, "SF says no thanks to free housing for homeless on vacant Tenderloin lot," 24 Jan. 2020 Margaret Breihan relies on the nursing assistants who visit six mornings a week to help her shower, dress and tidy up her Silver Spring, Maryland, apartment. Rick Jervis, USA TODAY, "People with disabilities are afraid they will be denied health care because of coronavirus," 26 Mar. 2020 The checkers and vets had the checkpoint all tidied up but now (the) crew is back. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "After getting turned back by overflow, Iditarod’s ‘Elim 11’ will try Saturday morning departure," 21 Mar. 2020 On international flights, the cleaning might be a bit more rigorous since there’s more time between flights to spend on tidying the cabin. Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, "How Airlines Are Sanitizing Planes Amid Coronavirus," 11 Mar. 2020 And while hoarding is a whole different level of stuff, not to mention a disorder diagnosed as a mental illness, Tompkins can speak to why tidying up makes people feel so good. Jessica Ravitz And Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "The potential mind-altering, life-extending benefits of spring cleaning," 2 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Save $100: The best affordable smart robot vacuum (Photo: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan) Want to keep your home tidy for when the guests arrive this holiday season? Isabelle Kagan, USA TODAY, "The 5 best Amazon Black Friday deals you can get right now," 23 Nov. 2019 Volunteer for Clean Valley Council’s annual spring cleanup to keep the forest tidy for resident turtles and salamanders. Caitlin Etherton, National Geographic, "Visit the real-life forests that inspired these famous books," 15 Apr. 2019 The appeal of my WeWork space is fairly obvious: Someone else maintains the free coffee, waters the plants, and tidies up the sun dappled work spaces. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Data Sheet—Why WeWork Has to Pay Up for Rapid Growth," 25 Apr. 2018 The most popular affordable robot vacuum A good robot vacuum can help you keep your home tidy between deep cleanings, and the Eufy RoboVac 11+ is the #1 best-selling robot vacuum on Amazon right now. Samantha Gordon, USA TODAY, "These are the 5 best Amazon deals for the first day of spring," 20 Mar. 2018 The truth escapes them that within a month, their designer efforts will be covered in old pizza boxes and dirty clothes exactly like the other rooms -- until mom shows up a day early for homecoming and tidies things up a bit. Beth Thames, AL.com, "Oprah for president? She's served her country already," 10 Jan. 2018 YOUR PROPERTY TIDY Have the lawn mowed, the plants watered and the pool cleaned. Ronda Kaysen, New York Times, "How to Protect Your House When You’re on Vacation," 14 July 2017 Buy Photo Erica Tunnell’s tidy row home in the Overbrook section of the city was swarmed Saturday by environmental activists, students and public health experts. Chris Mondics, Philly.com, "Activists, community groups test for lead," 24 June 2017

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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4


1821, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


circa 1828, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tidy


Middle English, timely, in good condition, from tide time

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Time Traveler for tidy

Time Traveler

The first known use of tidy was in the 13th century

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Statistics for tidy

Last Updated

14 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tidy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tidy. Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for tidy

How to pronounce tidy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of tidy

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: clean and organized : not messy
: keeping things clean and organized
informal, of an amount of money : fairly large



English Language Learners Definition of tidy (Entry 2 of 3)

: to make (something) tidy : to make (something) clean and organized



English Language Learners Definition of tidy (Entry 3 of 3)

British : a container for storing small items
ti·​dy | \ ˈtī-dē How to pronounce tidy (audio) \
tidier; tidiest

Kids Definition of tidy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : well ordered and cared for : neat
2 : large, substantial a tidy sum

Other Words from tidy

tidiness noun


tidied; tidying

Kids Definition of tidy (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make things neat

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More from Merriam-Webster on tidy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tidy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tidy

Spanish Central: Translation of tidy

Nglish: Translation of tidy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tidy for Arabic Speakers

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