To "tidy" something is to make it clean and neat. This word is 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.
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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This page was first published on February 19, 2012.