verb (used with object), chev·ied, chev·y·ing.

to chase; run after.
to harass; nag; torment.

verb (used without object), chev·ied, chev·y·ing.

to race; scamper.

noun, plural chev·ies.

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 chiv·y


verb (used with or without object), chiv·vied, chiv·vy·ing, noun, plural chiv·vies. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for chivy

Historical Examples of chivy

  • 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."

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for chivy


chivvy chevy British

verb chivies, chivying, chivied, chivvies, chivvying, chivvied, chevies, chevying or chevied

(tr) to harass or nag
(tr) to hunt
(intr) to run about

noun plural chivies, chivvies or chevies

a hunt
obsolete a hunting cry

Word Origin for chivy

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

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