Main definitions of tit in English

: tit1tit2tit3

tit1

noun

  • 1A titmouse.

    • ‘Lovebirds, barbets, tits and finches warm themselves in the cozy chambers built by the weavers.’
    • ‘He pointed out that not only pigeons live in the South Parade area, but ravens, jackdaws, collared doves, blackbirds, thrushes, wagtails, tits and the now-endangered house sparrow.’
    • ‘Scurrying about in the woodland fringes, hedges and feeding sites are finches, tits and thrushes keep your eyes open for the occasional hen harrier, merlin and sparrowhawk.’
    • ‘This behavior is especially prevalent among chickadees and tits that scatter hoard food items in foliage, branches, and bark of trees.’
    • ‘No wonder the tits and finches were so noisy and active.’
    1. 1.1 Used in names of birds similar or related to the titmouse, e.g., New Zealand tit.

Origin

Mid 16th century: probably of Scandinavian origin and related to Icelandic titlingur ‘sparrow’; compare with titling and titmouse. Earlier senses were ‘small horse’ and ‘girl’; the current sense dates from the early 18th century.

Pronunciation

tit

/tit//tɪt/

Main definitions of tit in English

: tit1tit2tit3

tit2

noun

vulgar slang
  • A woman's breast or nipple.

    mammary gland, mamma
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • tits and ass

    • vulgar slang Used in reference to the use of crudely sexual images of women.

  • suck the hind tit

    • informal Receive less of something than others who are competing for it.

Origin

Old English tit ‘teat, nipple’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch tit and German Zitze. The vulgar slang use was originally US and dates from the early 20th century.

Pronunciation

tit

/tit//tɪt/

Main definitions of tit in English

: tit1tit2tit3

tit3

noun

in phrase tit for tat
  • The infliction of an injury or insult in return for one that one has suffered.

    as modifier ‘the conflict staggered on with tit-for-tat assassinations’
    • ‘After this it was tit for tat but in the few remaining minutes of injury time Ballinakill managed to score two points to give them a two point victory on a score of 3-12 to 3-10.’
    • ‘It was tit for tat throughout a memorable semi final, and while no one could question the merits of the champion's victory the great pity was that either side to had to endure the disappointment of defeat.’
    • ‘I'm not advocating tit for tat, or cheating out of spite.’
    • ‘Reciprocity is not tit for tat, keeping score or revenge.’
    • ‘You know, I think it's going to be real tough, and I think the reason is that we're seeing now a tit for tat.’
    • ‘But ‘bump and run’ is a gray area, where tactical tit for tat, perhaps motivated by momentary anger and revenge, may come into play despite the overall ethic of mutual respect.’
    • ‘I usually put my comments in a general, not individual context, because I don't want to do the tit-for-tat insult thing many commentators do.’
    • ‘It was tit for tat all through the first half with the sides trading some fine scores.’
    • ‘It was tit for tat on the field of play with numerous players catching the eye of their managers.’
    • ‘Not just a football match, it was a wonderful example of tit for tat as both teams set out to prove that anything one could do, the other could do better.’
    • ‘The sides went tit for tat with scoring opportunities, and midway through the second half the game really picked up a Championship flavour.’
    • ‘But if they want to escalate the fight, we will respond tit for tat.’
    • ‘But we do use the passes a lot and this seems a bit tit for tat.’
    • ‘I thought about opening the window and gargling back, tit for tat, but concern for my neighbors discouraged me.’
    • ‘Whether these deaths are all linked, tit for tat, is a point of debate in Melbourne.’
    • ‘But this somehow became tit for tat, and evaluation times for marketed drugs was accelerated.’
    • ‘I can't say this enough: deterrence is not tit for tat.’
    • ‘My appeal on Friday was on behalf of good old shameless commerce, quid pro quo, tit for tat, bucks for books.’
    • ‘In ranking events you generally find it's tit for tat.’
    • ‘At first glance this may seem a justified tit for tat.’
    retaliation, reprisal, counterattack, counterstroke, comeback
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 16th century: variant of obsolete tip for tap.

Pronunciation

tit

/tit//tɪt/