Main definitions of tit in US English:

: tit1tit2tit3

tit1

noun

  • 1A titmouse.

    • ‘Lovebirds, barbets, tits and finches warm themselves in the cozy chambers built by the weavers.’
    • ‘This behavior is especially prevalent among chickadees and tits that scatter hoard food items in foliage, branches, and bark of trees.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘No wonder the tits and finches were so noisy and active.’
    • ‘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.’
    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

/tɪt//tit/

Main definitions of tit in US 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

/tɪt//tit/

Main definitions of tit in US 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’
    • ‘Whether these deaths are all linked, tit for tat, is a point of debate in Melbourne.’
    • ‘At first glance this may seem a justified tit for tat.’
    • ‘The sides went tit for tat with scoring opportunities, and midway through the second half the game really picked up a Championship flavour.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I can't say this enough: deterrence is not tit for tat.’
    • ‘It was tit for tat all through the first half with the sides trading some fine scores.’
    • ‘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'm not advocating tit for tat, or cheating out of spite.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It was tit for tat on the field of play with numerous players catching the eye of their managers.’
    • ‘In ranking events you generally find it's tit for tat.’
    • ‘My appeal on Friday was on behalf of good old shameless commerce, quid pro quo, tit for tat, bucks for books.’
    • ‘But we do use the passes a lot and this seems a bit tit for tat.’
    • ‘Reciprocity is not tit for tat, keeping score or revenge.’
    • ‘But this somehow became tit for tat, and evaluation times for marketed drugs was accelerated.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I thought about opening the window and gargling back, tit for tat, but concern for my neighbors discouraged me.’
    • ‘But if they want to escalate the fight, we will respond tit for tat.’
    retaliation, reprisal, counterattack, counterstroke, comeback
    View synonyms

Origin

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

Pronunciation

tit

/tɪt//tit/