Modification of earlier spelling tidivate, perhaps based on tidy + -vate, on the pattern of words like cultivate and renovate.
titivate (third-person singular simple present titivates, present participle titivating, simple past and past participle titivated)
- To make small improvements or alterations to (one's appearance etc.); to add some finishing touches to.
- 1950, Mervyn Peake, Gormenghast
- Had she spent the best part of a day in titivating herself in order that she might sit plunged in darkness, with nothing but her feet and her nose revealed?
to make small improvements to