verb (chivvies, chivvying, chivvied)[with object] chiefly British
- Tell (someone) repeatedly to do something: an association which chivvies government into actionMore example sentences
nag, badger, hound, harass, harry, keep after, keep on at, go on at, pester, plague, torment, persecute, goad, annoy, bother; urge, prod, pressure, pressurizeNorthern English • informal mitherNorth American • informal rideAustralian • informal heavy
- The action plan he has produced will involve thoroughly cleaning the school, chivvying students to get to school and lessons on time and encouraging them to take pride in the school and their work.
- He said: ‘He used his significant influence with the Church of England to chivvy us all, Anglicans and others, into getting on with some really creative shared actions.’
- When we speak, he addresses me like a slightly harried father chivvying a child.
late 18th century: probably from the ballad Chevy Chase, celebrating a skirmish (probably the battle of Otterburn, 1388) on the Scottish border. Originally a noun denoting a hunting cry, the term later meant 'a pursuit', hence the verb 'to chase, worry' (mid 19th century).