Share this entry

Share this page


Line breaks: chivvy
Pronunciation: /ˈtʃɪvi
(also chivy)

Definition of chivvy in English:

verb (chivvies, chivvying, chivvied)

[with object] chiefly British
Tell (someone) repeatedly to do something: an association which chivvies government into action
More example sentences
  • 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.
nag, badger, hound, harass, harry, keep after, keep on at, go on at, pester, plague, torment, persecute, goad, annoy, bother;
urge, prod, pressure, pressurize
informal hassle, bug, breathe down someone's neck, get on someone's case
Northern English informal mither
North American informal ride
Australian informal heavy


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).

Definition of chivvy in:

Share this entry

Share this page


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day verbose
Pronunciation: vəːˈbəʊs
using more words than are needed…