[ spiv ]
/ spɪv /

noun British Informal.

a petty criminal, especially a black marketeer, racetrack tout, or petty thief.

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. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for spiv

/ (spɪv) /


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