from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A simple song.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A short verse or tune.
  • v. To sing; to warble a little tune.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A saying or utterance; especially, one that is short and frequently repeated; a theme.
  • n. A song; a lay; a little poem intended to be sung.
  • intransitive v. To sing; to warble a little tune.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To sing a ditty; warble a tune.
  • To sing.
  • n. A song, or poem intended to be sung, usually short and simple in form, and set to a simple melody; any short simple song.
  • n. The words of a song, as opposed to the tune or music.
  • n. A refrain; a saying often repeated.
  • n. Clamor; cry; noise.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a short simple song (or the words of a poem intended to be sung)


Middle English dite, a literary composition, from Old French dite, from Latin dictātum, thing dictated, from neuter past participle of dictāre, to dictate, frequentative of dīcere, to say; see deik- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French ditie or dité, from ditier, from Latin dictāre (participle dictatus). (Wiktionary)



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  • No no, it's ok. My mistake, you're right. Thanks.

    July 18, 2009

  • PossibleUnderscore, are you sure you're not thinking of 'ditzy'? I apologise if I'm wrong and being condescending.

    July 18, 2009

  • Ditty is also used to describe frivilous people. I think.

    July 18, 2009

  • One day after dinner I went into his room, just as he was tuning his guitar. To hear him more at my ease, I sat down on the only stool; while he, reclining on his bed, played a pathetic air, and sang to it a ditty, expressing the despair of a lover and the cruelty of his mistress.

    - Lesage, The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane, tr. Smollett, bk 9 ch. 5

    October 7, 2008