Definition of skivvy in English:

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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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Do menial household tasks; work as a skivvy.
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.

Words that rhyme with skivvy

bivvy, chivvy, civvy, divvy, Livy, privy, spivvy

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: skiv·vy

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