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February 19, 2012 - Word of the Day: tidy


To "tidy" something is to make it clean and neat. It's often used with the word "up."

  • We have to tidy up the house before our guests arrive.
  • Asha wanted to tidy herself up before her job interview, so she went to the ladies' restroom to put on some make up.
  • You should tidy yourself up before a picture is taken. You want to look your best, don't you?
  • They keep their house very tidy. (This sentence uses "tidy" as an adjective.)
  • This is a very tidy neighborhood.

man with washcloth He needs to tidy up.


Sometimes this word is used to describe an amount of money, usually a large amount:

  • Bob made a tidy profit on the sale of his house.
  • A college degree in computer programming often results in a tidy income upon graduation.
  • We made a tidy sum of money last year.


*One of my students asked me this morning about the word "spruce." It can be used in place of the word "tidy" when preparing oneself or cleaning up: She wants to spruce up a little before her guests arrive.)


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