Definition of chivy
1 : to tease or annoy with persistent petty attacks
2 : to move or obtain by small maneuvers chivy an olive out of a bottle
chivy was our Word of the Day on 06/29/2014. Hear the podcast!
Examples of chivy in a sentence
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.)
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
Seen and Heard
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