Word of the Day : October 1, 2010


verb TITT-up


: to move in a lively manner often with an exaggerated or affected action

Did You Know?

"Tittup" has been used as noun naming an imitation of the sound of horses' hooves moving at a pace between a canter and a gallop since as early as 1703. The rhythmic sound and bounce of such movement was infectious enough to lead people to apply the word to other bouncy gaits, and to lively or restless behavior in general. "Tittup" was first used as a verb in 1785. In 1862, William Makepeace Thackeray recalled the word's equine origins when he wrote of "a magnificent horse dancing, and tittupping." The word is not common today, but it does see occasional use, especially in British sources.

Test Your Memory: What former Word of the Day comes from Roman mythology and means "cheerful" or "good-natured." The answer is ...


As the curtains part, the play's main characters tittup to and fro across the stage.

"Ahead of him Sulla could see Gaius Julius Caesar's women tittupping along on the high cork soles and higher cork heels of their winter shoes…." -- From Colleen McCullough's 1990 novel The First Man In Rome


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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