verb tit·i·vate \ˈti-tə-ˌvāt\
variants: or


Definition of titivate




  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to make smart or spruce

  3. intransitive verb
  4. :  smarten, spruce


play \ˌti-tə-ˈvā-shən\ noun

titivate was our Word of the Day on 10/30/2016. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

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.

Origin and Etymology of titivate

perhaps from 1tidy + renovate

First Known Use: 1824

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a rounded knoll or a ridge of ice

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