Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Titivate

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is titivate. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

Titivate means “to make (someone or something) neater or more attractive,” and is a synonym of spruce up.

// Her morning routine includes a few minutes spent titivating in front of the mirror.

TITIVATE in Context

“From the US seafood seasoning Old Bay … to lapsang souchong salt, there are numerous ways to titivate chips.” — Tony Naylor, The Guardian (London), 22 Jan. 2022

Did You Know?

Titivate is a fancy way of saying spruce up, smarten up, or spiff up; 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.” The origins of titivate are uncertain, but it may have been formed by combining tidy and renovate. Spiffy, if true.

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