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chivy

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verb \ˈchi-vē\

Definition of chivy

chivied

or

chivvied

chivying

or

chivvying

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to tease or annoy with persistent petty attacks

  3. 2 :  to move or obtain by small maneuvers <chivy an olive out of a bottle>



Examples of chivy in a sentence

  1. <a boss with a reputation for chivying his workers about every little thing>



Did You Know?

Chivy, which is also spelled "chivvy," became established in our language in the early 20th century and at first meant "to harass or chase." Early usage examples are of people chivying a chicken around to catch it and of a person chivying around food that is frying. The word itself is from the British noun of the same spelling meaning "chase" or "hunt." The noun is believed to be derived from Chevy Chase-a term for "chase" or "confusion" that is taken from the name of a ballad describing the 1388 battle of Otterburn between the Scottish and English. (A chase in this context is an unenclosed tract of land in England that is used as a game preserve.)

Variants of chivy

or

chivvy

Origin and Etymology of chivy

chivy, noun, chase, hunt, probably from English dialect Chevy Chase chase, confusion, from the name of a ballad describing the battle of Otterburn (1388)


First Known Use: 1918

Synonym Discussion of chivy

bait, badger, heckle, hector, chivy, hound mean to harass by efforts to break down. bait implies wanton cruelty or delight in persecuting a helpless victim <baited the chained dog>. badger implies pestering so as to drive a person to confusion or frenzy <badgered her father for a car>. heckle implies persistent annoying or belligerent interruptions of a speaker <drunks heckled the stand-up comic>. hector carries an implication of bullying and domineering <football players hectored by their coach>. chivy suggests persecution by teasing or nagging <chivied the new student mercilessly>. hound implies unrelenting pursuit and harassing <hounded by creditors>.

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