Definition of tatty in English:


Syllabification: tat·ty
Pronunciation: /ˈtatē

adjective (tattier, tattiest)

  • 1Worn and shabby; in poor condition: the room was furnished in slightly tatty upholstered furniture
    More example sentences
    • It's all very well saying that a worn and tatty book got that way because it's been well used, and continues to be well used, but they don't look good on my new shelves.
    • The furniture is tatty and the books looked about as appetising as goods in a car boot sale.
    • Phased cuts in educational expenditure as part of Structural Adjustment Programmes left buildings in a tatty, dangerous and unsanitary condition.
  • 1.1Of poor quality: his gap-toothed smile and tatty haircut
    More example sentences
    • The tents which are dotted about, range from top mountaineering quality to tatty improvised structures made of bamboo and straw.
    • Tweed, tatty hair-cuts, lots of comb-overs, ruddy cheeks, red fleshy ears and the most enormous blue velour rosettes abound.
    • There are, I concede, more deserving causes than ‘hack forced to eat sub-standard food in tatty restaurant at someone else's expense’.



Pronunciation: /ˈtatəlē/
More example sentences
  • Looking tattily elegant, and hoping I'll be safe from stings, I climb a ladder and examine the swarm.
  • Dr Fox reckons she looks a ‘tad’ out of place, and a ‘tad’ tattily dressed.
  • It's rather terrible - not the worst that would emerge from this subgenre, but one that is fairly tattily made on most counts.


More example sentences
  • But much of the 1960s furniture, in its tattiness, looks pretty real.
  • The second chugs slowly and noisily between Glasgow and Edinburgh with that inevitable air of impending tattiness.
  • Despite their undeniable tattiness, the Confessions films still enjoy an ardent fan following.


early 16th century (originally Scots, in the sense 'tangled, matted, shaggy'): apparently ultimately related to Old English tættec 'rag', of Germanic origin; compare with tattered.

More definitions of tatty

Definition of tatty in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrə(ʊ)ˈgeɪʃ(ə)n
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space