Definition of skivvy in English:


Syllabification: skiv·vy
Pronunciation: /ˈskivē

noun (plural skivvies)

  • 1 (skivvies) North American trademark Underwear, especially a set consisting of undershirt and underpants, or just the underpants.
    [originally a US Navy term]
    More example sentences
    • Undies, underwear, or skivvies were all deemed acceptable.
    • Just go to this link and find a short story that sends the shivers down to your skivvies.
    • One had pulled on jeans, one was in skivvy shorts, and one responded nude.
  • 2 (also skivvy shirt) US & Australian A lightweight high-necked, long-sleeved garment.
    More example sentences
    • But Couples doesn't wear a skivvy shirt under his golf tunic to minimize the subcutaneous fat.
    • Wear your western shirt open and untucked over a skivvy to draw the eye down and create the illusion of a more sculpted, leaner silhouette.
    • The brown skivvy, open and zipped up, may be worn with dress order 4A DCPU barracks dress and 4B DPCU field dress.
  • 2.1An undershirt or T-shirt.
    More example sentences
    • Some of the new stuff you can expect to see this year includes the wet weather ensemble, combat jacket and skivvy / undershirts.
    • About 109,000 skivvies / undershirts are in the process of being procured and issued.
  • 3British informal A low-ranking female domestic servant.
    More example sentences
    • In upper-class households there was often a hierarchy of servants ‘below stairs', ranging from the butler to kitchen skivvies.
    • Be realistic: he is never going to tidy up if he has a skivvy to do it for him and give him back his stuff all sorted, clean, tidy and ready to use.
    • She said the new laws would protect Pakistani teenagers who were brought over to be little more than skivvies to an unknown husband and his family.
  • 3.1A person doing work that is poorly paid and considered menial.
    More example sentences
    • They want to be treated with respect, not taken for granted as low paid skivvies.
    • Are they teachers, managers, social workers or skivvies?
    • And the choice of placements totally eclipses the old stigma of office typist or work site skivvy.

verb (skivvies, skivvying, skivvied)

[no object] informal Back to top  
  • Do menial household tasks; work as a skivvy.
    More example sentences
    • Antonin was taken in by a busy cook who offered him bed and board in exchange for skivvying.
    • Burke's opportunity to ditch the skivvying came when his ailing grandfather divided up some inheritance money before passing away.
    • Thank you, thank you for letting us come here and skivvy for you 12 hours a day for less than a fiver an hour.


early 20th century: of unknown origin.

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elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody