American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To make decorative additions to; spruce up.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To dress or spruce up; get or put into good trim; smarten, or smarten one's self.
- v. To make small improvements or alterations to (one's appearance etc.); to add some finishing touches to.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. Both Humorous, Both Humorous To dress or smarten up; to spruce.
- v. make neat, smart, or trim
- Modification of earlier spelling tidivate, perhaps based on tidy + -vate, on the pattern of words like cultivate and renovate. (Wiktionary)
- Alteration of earlier tidivate : perhaps tidy + (ele)vate. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The word titivate apparently was derived from tidy with a quasi-Latin suffix added.”
“The ball was a neat little matter of fifty-five miles away, across country, so she had to start tolerably early, of course, in order to have comfortable time to "titivate," as Pip expressed it.”
“Chelsea bores her, so she takes a private jet to Cannes, gets Katie Price's hairdresser to titivate her, hires a table in a VVIP room for £20k, then strops off home after 20 minutes as someone appears in the room who's not to her suiting.”
“If they had any sense, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, on whose northern border this is, would buy it off him, titivate it a bit, and open it as a nineteenth-century museum.”
“Let me go down and settle whilst you call in your black man and titivate a bit.”
“Every day the order would go out to 'titivate the ship,' which meant to 'spruce it up or make it neat and orderly.”
“From beside the Long Water in the last of the pale sunlight, she came out into Marylebone, and bethought herself that before she went to the Foreign Office she must go where she could titivate.”
“But Cai -- on his way upstairs to titivate -- perceived that the lamp was lit and the cloth spread in his own parlour; and, as he noted this with a vague surprise, encountered Mrs Bowldler.”
“You titivate yourself, and we'll dine at the Savoy, or anywhere you please.”
“They said that when he saw the shearers coming he'd say, "Run and titivate yourself, Mary; here comes the shearers!”
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