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[chev-ee] /ˈtʃɛv i/ British
verb (used with object), chevied, chevying.
to chase; run after.
to harass; nag; torment.
verb (used without object), chevied, chevying.
to race; scamper.
noun, plural chevies.
a hunting cry.
a hunt, chase, or pursuit.
the game of prisoner's base.
Also, chivvy, chivy.
Origin of chevy
First recorded in 1775-85; perhaps short for Chevy Chase


or chivy

[chiv-ee] /ˈtʃɪv i/
verb (used with or without object), chivvied, chivvying, noun, plural chivvies.
1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for chivy
Historical Examples
  • They'd 'ave nobody to chivy 'em when they come to the throne, or returned from the wars.

  • I thought: "In a day or two I shall get to like her, and then I shan't be able to chivy her."

    A Diary Without Dates Enid Bagnold
  • I let the first class off easily, but the second I chivy through a whole year.

  • They are not in a hurry, nor "chivy" over their work either; the tides rise and fall slowly, and they work in correspondence.

    The Open Air Richard Jefferies
  • It was an eternal game of chivy or hide-and-seek, each person being by turn the hunter and the hunted.

    The Divine Fire

    May Sinclair
  • Every year I have some seven such hopefuls whom, to express it in the students' slang, I "chivy" or "floor."

  • The objective of the R. Sussex on the left was the enemy's trenches along the chivy road.

    The First Seven Divisions Ernest W. Hamilton
British Dictionary definitions for chivy


verb chivies, chivying, chivied, chivvies, chivvying, chivvied, chevies, chevying, chevied
(transitive) to harass or nag
(transitive) to hunt
(intransitive) to run about
noun (pl) chivies, chivvies, chevies
a hunt
(obsolete) a hunting cry
Word Origin
C19: variant of chevy, probably from Chevy Chase, title of a Scottish border ballad


noun, verb
a variant of chivy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for chivy



"harass," 1918, from alternative form of chevy (1830) "to chase," from a noun chevy (1824, also used as a hunting cry, c.1785), from chevy chase "a running pursuit," probably from the "Ballad of Chevy Chase," popular song from 15c. describing a hunting party on the borderland that turned into a battle between the English and the Scots (the incident probably late 14c.). The place is probably originally Cheviot Chase.

The old song of Chevy-Chase is the favourite ballad of the common people of England, and Ben Jonson used to say, he had rather have been the author of it than of all his works. [Addison, "spectator" No. 70, May 21, 1711]



by 1938, popular form of Chevrolet, U.S. automobile brand, which was founded by Louis Chevrolet and William Durant in 1911; acquired by General Motors in 1917.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for chivy


Related Terms




A Chevrolet car (1930+)



To harry and annoy; badger; bug, hassle

[1821+; perhaps fr Chevy Chase, site of a skirmish between the English and the Scots, which came to mean ''a running pursuit'' in Yorkshire dialect; chivy came to mean ''pursue'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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