Dictionary.com

spiv

[ spiv ]
/ spɪv /
Save This Word!

noun British Informal.
a petty criminal, especially a black marketeer, racetrack tout, or petty thief.
QUIZ
ARE YOU A TRUE BLUE CHAMPION OF THESE "BLUE" SYNONYMS?
We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.
Question 1 of 8
Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of spiv

1885–90; back formation from dial. spiving smart; perhaps akin to spiffy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for spiv

spiv
/ (spɪv) /

noun
British slang a person who makes a living by underhand dealings or swindling; black marketeer

Derived forms of spiv

spivvy, adjective

Word Origin for spiv

C20: back formation from dialect spiving smart; compare spiffy, spiffing
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
FEEDBACK