noun, plural civ·vies.

civvies. Also civies. civilian clothes.

Origin of civvy

First recorded in 1885–90; civ(ilian) + -y2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for civvies

Contemporary Examples of civvies

Historical Examples of civvies

  • Nevertheless, if I were in civvies, you'd have permitted the waiter to cut my steak.

  • Out of the corner of my eye, I saw another man, younger in appearance and looking like an Army officer in civvies, approach him.

    Four-Day Planet

    Henry Beam Piper

  • Granted as 'e can't walk about naked; granted as 'e 'asn't got a suit o' civvies of 'is own—wot is 'e to do?

  • He was in civvies, the jeans and sweater I normally thought of him wearing, but he had his service ribbons pinned to his breast.

    Little Brother

    Cory Doctorow

  • As soon as afternoon parade was dismissed, we would dive for our quarters, and re-don our "civvies" until next parade.

British Dictionary definitions for civvies


noun plural civvies slang

a civilian
(plural) civilian dress as opposed to uniform
civvy street civilian life
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 civvies



1889, civvies, short for civilian clothes (see civilian (adj.)); in reference to civilian clothes of military men.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper