Definition of chivy
- chivy an olive out of a bottle
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a boss with a reputation for chivying his workers about every little thing
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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.)
First Known Use: 1918See Words from the same year
aggravate, annoy, bedevil, chafe, devil, dog, dun, exasperate, fret, gall, get, gnaw, grate, hassle, irk, irritate, nettle, peeve, persecute, pique, put out, rankle, rasp, rile, roil, torment, vex, worry;
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