un·​ti·​dy | \ ˌən-ˈtī-dē How to pronounce untidy (audio) \

Definition of untidy

1a : not neat : slovenly their untidy kitchen
b : not neat or orderly in habits or procedure an untidy mind
2a : not neatly organized or carried out an untidy manuscript
b : conducive to a lack of neatness untidy tasks like bathing the babyNew Yorker

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from untidy

untidily \ ˌən-​ˈtī-​də-​lē How to pronounce untidily (audio) \ adverb
untidiness \ ˌən-​ˈtī-​dē-​nəs How to pronounce untidiness (audio) \ noun

Examples of untidy in a Sentence

I can never find anything in this untidy office. neighbors gossiped about the woman's rumpled and untidy children
Recent Examples on the Web The ethos of the new MOMA—to revise the myth of modern art as a triumphant procession of great white men and instead tell the glorious, untidy truth of a bunch of weird human beings—finds its most exciting expression in Sillman’s selections. Andrea K. Scott, The New Yorker, "Reframing Modernism at the New MOMA," 12 Nov. 2019 The iconic prologue – a meticulous mix of jazz, athleticism, violence and grace — is off-point and untidy. Lee Williams | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "This ‘West Side Story’ is too heavy on politics, too light on poetry," 14 Oct. 2019 As the crowds milled throughout Outside Lands on the festival’s first day, the grass was trampled, but not untidy. Melia Russell, SFChronicle.com, "At Outside Lands, not a plastic bottle or straw in sight," 9 Aug. 2019 Before Einstein, there was an untidy collection of equations to describe how light behaves from the point of view of a moving observer. Quanta Magazine, "Quantum Theory Rebuilt From Simple Physical Principles," 30 Aug. 2017 These are just a few of the many untidy and chaotic but oh-so-fun events that are part of this year’s Messy Fest. Alison Stanton, azcentral, "The best fall festivals around Phoenix in 2019: Oktoberfest, Day of the Dead, art and more," 12 Sep. 2019 But the bikes faced vandalism and theft, and were left in untidy piles that city authorities had to deal with. Jane Li, Quartz, "A court has revealed the sorry state of a Chinese bike-sharing startup once worth $2 billion," 19 June 2019 Then trim any untidy hairs that are too curly, or are longer than the rest. Glamour, "I Went to Meghan Markle's Favorite Brow Place and Learned So Many Secrets," 10 May 2019 Having proved herself in television, she is excited by the challenge of working within the finite story structure of a film, with no untidy open-endedness. David Kamp, WSJ, "Phoebe Waller-Bridge is a Powerhouse on the Rise," 5 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'untidy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of untidy

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about untidy

Time Traveler for untidy

Time Traveler

The first known use of untidy was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for untidy

Last Updated

27 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Untidy.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/untidily. Accessed 9 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for untidy


How to pronounce untidy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of untidy

: not neat or clean
: not having neat or clean habits
: not done in an organized and pleasant way


un·​ti·​dy | \ ˌən-ˈtī-dē How to pronounce untidy (audio) \
untidier; untidiest

Kids Definition of untidy

: not neat

Other Words from untidy

untidily \ -​ˈtī-​də-​lē \ adverb
untidiness \ -​ˈtī-​dē-​nəs \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on untidy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for untidy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with untidy

Spanish Central: Translation of untidy

Nglish: Translation of untidy for Spanish Speakers

Comments on untidy

What made you want to look up untidy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


contradictory or incongruous words

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!