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 Luckily, robot vacuums exist, and can make your life much easier by helping you keep a tidy home that's free of dust, dirt, and debris. Isabelle Kagan, USA TODAY, "You can get a huge discount on a new Roomba today only," 12 Mar. 2020 As someone who appreciates when things can be tied in a neat and tidy bow, this pains me a bit. Rosemary Donahue, Allure, "Everything I Learned About Love When Astrologer Jessica Lanyadoo Read My Birth Chart," 14 Feb. 2020 To keep things as tidy as possible, consider these three factors when shopping for the perfect dog seat cover for you. The Editors, Field & Stream, "Three Ways to Dog Proof Your Vehicle Seats," 26 Feb. 2020 The tidy shelves and ample signage lead anyone to next-level eating. Los Angeles Times, "We’re big fans of these 11 supermarkets," 26 Feb. 2020 In the city, Nation members help lend a sense of security with tidy dress and disciplined presence, supporters say. Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, "Nation of Islam resonates in Detroit as it returns home for convention," 23 Feb. 2020 Go back 54 years, to 1966, and the space agency was getting $5.9 billion a year—which would be a tidy $47 billion in 2020 dollars. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, "NASA Could Get a Raise Next Year to Help Fund a 2024 Human Trip to the Moon," 18 Feb. 2020 Poppin sells the elements separately, but this bundle is the quickest route to tidy. Boone Ashworth, Wired, "Essential Gear For Keeping Your Workspace Tidy," 18 Feb. 2020 D’Angelo Russell, who was a tidy minus-48 vs. Brooklyn last night, also remains a target. Tim Bielik, cleveland, "NBA trade deadline 2020: Live news, updates and rumors from around the league," 6 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But if their clothes or dirty dishes litter public areas, ask them nicely to tidy up. Philip Galanes, New York Times, "Is My Adult Son Too Old for House Rules?," 27 Feb. 2020 Neatness can be restored, but someone will have to expend energy in the effort to tidy up. Sophie Bushwick, Scientific American, "A Simple Twist of Thermodynamics Could Lead to Greener Refrigeration," 21 Jan. 2020 Which aspects should be obscured or tidied away or carefully contextualized to protect the viewer’s sensibility? Zadie Smith, The New York Review of Books, "What Do We Want History to Do to Us?," 11 Feb. 2020 The little that remains has finally been tidied up and organized into a walking tour. Anthony Sattin, Condé Nast Traveler, "As Travelers Return to Egypt, Look Past Cairo," 24 Dec. 2019 The mission, named ClearSpace-1, will take the first step in tidying up this extraterrestrial wasteland, according to the European Space Agency (ESA). Jessie Yeung, CNN, "Europe is sending a robot to clean up space. Why is the junk there in the first place?," 12 Dec. 2019 In the first weeks of the season, Stockley Park tidied up a few offside calls but stayed mostly silent. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, "The Disastrous Arrival of Video Replay in English Soccer," 2 Nov. 2019 Woodworker behind the renovation The end result is a 4,200-square foot, Scandinavian-inspired, four-bedroom home that held onto its wood-burning fireplace up front and tidied up with custom touches that only a furniture builder could envision. Lisa Van Loo, azcentral, "Phoenix furniture maker crafts a home in a renovation full of surprises. Take a look," 16 Jan. 2020 Virgo, an Earth sign ruled by Mercury, is known for its organization skills, which means that Monday is the perfect day to tidy up any messes made during retrograde. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, "Your Guide to the First Mercury Retrograde of 2020," 26 Jan. 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

19 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tidy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tidy. Accessed 30 Mar. 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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