Definition of chivvy in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈCHivē/
(also chivy or chevy /ˈCHevē/)

verb (chivvies, chivvying, chivvied)

[with object]
Tell (someone) repeatedly to do something: an association that 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.


Late 18th century: probably from the ballad Chevy Chase, celebrating a skirmish (probably the battle of Otterburn, 1388) on the Scottish border (but often mistakenly thought to be a place name). Originally a noun denoting a hunting cry, the term later meant 'a pursuit', hence the verb 'to chase, worry' (mid 19th century).

  • This is probably from the ballad Chevy Chase, celebrating a skirmish (probably the battle of Otterburn in 1388) on the Scottish border. Chevy and chivy are early spellings. It was originally used as a word for a hunting cry; later to mean ‘a pursuit’, and so developed the sense ‘to chase, worry’ in the mid 19th century.

Words that rhyme with chivvy

bivvy, civvy, divvy, Livy, privy, skivvy, spivvy

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: chiv·vy

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