Definition of higgledy-piggledy in English:

higgledy-piggledy

adverb & adjective

  • In confusion or disorder.

    as adverb ‘bits of paper hanging higgledy-piggledy on the furniture and walls’
    as adjective ‘a higgledy-piggledy mountain of newspapers’
    • ‘It's a higgledy-piggledy mess of badly-designed streets and clashing styles.’
    • ‘It was a cramped second-hand book dealership, with a whole wall full of books from more than one hundred years ago, some huge and some miniscule, all higgledy-piggledy, shoved in wherever they fit.’
    • ‘Cobbled streets run higgledy-piggledy through medieval houses which are stacked up along the river's steep banks.’
    • ‘Adding to the higgledy-piggledy feel of the pub is the situation of the bar, the main part is in one of the front rooms, with a serving hatch tucked under the stairs in the middle of the pub to serve the other rooms.’
    • ‘They just put up their houses, shops, and factories wherever seemed most convenient, and the cities grew higgledy-piggledy.’
    • ‘It was the previous owner, John Hegarty, who commissioned Hewett to draw up plans for the new house, a higgledy-piggledy amalgamation of neo-Georgian elements, for which permission was granted.’
    • ‘They were seated higgledy-piggledy around the classroom on foldout plastic chairs.’
    • ‘Look at any hotel brochure and the chairs around the swimming pool are always neat and orderly, not higgledy-piggledy.’
    • ‘L' Orient, which occupies a higgledy-piggledy old building with a nice view of the high street, was empty and quiet on a Thursday afternoon, as was Pinner.’
    • ‘The site occupies the corner of a somewhat higgledy-piggledy plaza dominated by a small, historic church.’
    • ‘At the Whitney, sculpture must inevitably be crowded - sometimes artfully, sometimes higgledy-piggledy - into a formal museum setting.’
    • ‘Houses of pale limestone rise higgledy-piggledy from the harbour, connected by a labyrinth of stepped alleyways.’
    • ‘The idea for Soho House was born when his landlord at Cafe Bohème offered Jones the higgledy-piggledy offices upstairs.’
    • ‘The tables were higgledy-piggledy, and the whole place was set out as if it had originally been as unlike a café as it was possible to be, and the owner had hastily attempted to correct this.’
    disordered, disorderly, untidy, disorganized, messy, chaotic, jumbled, muddled, confused, unsystematic, irregular, cluttered, littered
    in disorder, in a muddle, in a jumble, in disarray, in a disorganized manner, untidily, haphazardly, indiscriminately, in a mess, in confusion, in a heap, anyhow, any old how, pell-mell, topsy-turvy
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 16th century: rhyming jingle, probably with reference to the irregular herding together of pigs.

Pronunciation

higgledy-piggledy

/ˌhiɡəldēˈpiɡəldē//ˌhɪɡəldiˈpɪɡəldi/