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

Other Words from tidy


tidily \ ˈtī-​də-​lē How to pronounce tidy (audio) \ adverb
tidiness \ ˈtī-​dē-​nəs How to pronounce tidy (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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The family was placed on a waiting list this year to relocate to Mountain View Estates — a newer mobile home community with paved streets and a tidy park. New York Times, 31 July 2022 As tidy as that narrative might be, there was one problem. Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic, 26 July 2022 One was a tidy, careful and empty-space minimalist; the other, a voracious maximalist, with something (a lot) to say about everything and ever ready with a cutting repartee. Los Angeles Times, 26 July 2022 The base bin can hold small or medium pool floats and beach balls, while the above shelves can keep tiny toys tidy. Mary Cornetta, Better Homes & Gardens, 25 July 2022 By noon, Miller and Paige were still asking questions, Miller taking tidy notes in a small notebook. Daniel Wu, Washington Post, 22 July 2022 Since the Dobbs decision, we’ve been hit with a tidy barrage of stories about certain major firms, from Amazon to Citigroup, offering to help affected employees cover travel costs in order to get abortions out of state if necessary. Jason Linkins, The New Republic, 18 July 2022 Pandora makes sure that all the counters are clean and tidy before serving, while the rest of us sit at the table, drinking wine or stealing from the salad. Helen Longstreth, The New Yorker, 17 July 2022 That might seem like a tidy parable about how nature recovers when people disappear from the landscape — if not for the fact that ecosystems are complex. Emily Anthes, BostonGlobe.com, 16 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Clearing out the cache on your mobile browser is a great way to tidy your system up. Yoni Heisler, BGR, 15 July 2022 Is there actually time after the clock stops for the contestants to tidy up their plates or re-plate before presenting to the judges? Alicia Vrajlal, refinery29.com, 20 June 2022 But each has some unfinished business to tidy up first, which is the focus of most of the movie. BostonGlobe.com, 20 May 2022 Next, split the pony in two, rope braid the hair, tidy around base, and secure with strong pins or a hair elastic. Georgia Murray, refinery29.com, 24 June 2022 Ostensibly a game for organization freaks, A Little to the Left asks players to tidy up by arranging books, game cartridges, spoons, lampshades, and more into nice, neat arrangements, all while a mischievous cat tries to mess things up again. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, 18 June 2022 Luckily, there are ways to tidy up the toys that will even have the kids excited to lend a helping hand. Mary Cornetta, Better Homes & Gardens, 2 June 2022 Most movies that deploy violence tidy it up with empty outrage and vacuous moralizing; here, the violence haunts you. New York Times, 2 June 2022 Make everyday meals healthier with the Philips Premium Air Fryer XXL, and tidy your home up in a flash with the Roborock S7 Robot Vacuum and Mop. Brittany Vincent, SELF, 31 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun At face value, tidy sidewalks and businesses sound like a recipe for community improvement. Whitney Eulich, The Christian Science Monitor, 26 July 2022 The K-Mini Plus comes in seven colors and even has cord storage that'll help keep your countertop tidy. Better Homes & Gardens, 15 July 2022 This botanical tote arrived as part of Hill House Home's biggest collection to date and has pockets on all four sides for keeping your beach, pool, or errand essentials tidy. Halie Lesavage, Harper's BAZAAR, 2 June 2022 While vacuums for cars have come a long way in keeping interior upholstery tidy, the implementation of microfiber fabrics has been huge for car cleaning and detailing. Talon Homer, Popular Mechanics, 27 May 2022 The long, narrow space needed sunlight, smarter storage, and a warm but easy-to-tidy aesthetic. Carisha Swanson, House Beautiful, 18 May 2022 This svelte Keurig keeps the countertop tidy but still has a large water reservoir in the back. Paige Szmodis, Popular Mechanics, 25 Apr. 2022 The school, tidy and chirping with kids scampering around a blacktop one recent morning, opened in 1926. Washington Post, 21 Mar. 2022 The cultural framing of the Jets and the Sharks is a little tidy and not quite on the mark. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, 16 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

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

Learn More About tidy

Time Traveler for tidy

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near tidy



tidy away

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Statistics for tidy

Last Updated

3 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tidy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tidy. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for tidy


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

More from Merriam-Webster on tidy

Nglish: Translation of tidy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tidy for Arabic Speakers


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