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1. To make something or some place cleaner, neater, or more organized in appearance. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "tidy" and "up." You really need to tidy up your room. It's like a pigsty in there! I've been meaning to tidy up the bookshelves—I'm sick of having all those books thrown in a heap.
2. To refine something (such as a piece of writing) by removing errors, inconsistences, offensive elements, etc. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "tidy" and "up." I paid an editor to tidy up my manuscript, and after that I got multiple offers! No radio station will play this song as-is—you need to tidy it up a bit and remove the foul language.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
tidy something up
to clean something up; to make something more orderly. Please tidy this room up. I'll tidy up the kitchen later.
to clean up [oneself or a place]. Please tidy up. This place is a mess. Please tidy up. You are a mess.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To put something in order; clean something: We should tidy up the house. We need to tidy this report up before we can submit it.
2. To make things orderly and neat in appearance or procedure: We should tidy up before the guests arrive. I need to tidy up; my hair is a mess.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.