Share this entry

Share this page

chivvy

Syllabification: chiv·vy
Pronunciation: /ˈCHivē
 
/
(also chivy or chevy /ˈCHevē/)

Definition of chivvy in English:

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.

Origin

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).

More
  • 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

Definition of chivvy in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day terpsichorean
Pronunciation: ˌtərpsikəˈrēən
adjective
of or relating to dancing