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chivvy (third-person singular simple present chivvies, present participle chivvying, simple past and past participle chivvied)

  1. To subject to harassment or verbal abuse.
    • 2004, Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty, Bloomsbury, 2005, Chapter 5,
      Toby played the lightly chivvied “husband” very sweetly, and Sophie claimed him in the childish ways of someone experimenting with her power, with little exasperations and innuendos.
  2. To coerce, as by persistent request.
    • 2005 November 10, Nick Robinson, “Robinson's view: Blair's defeat”, in BBC News[1]:
      For 11 years now he has only one approach - to lead from the front and then to confront, challenge, and chivvy the Labour Party into backing him.
    • 2007 April 24, “The Albert Sessions”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name)[2]:
      We don't have time to respond to emails or any attempts to chivvy us up - sorry.
  3. To sneak up on or rapidly approach.
  4. To pursue as in a hunt.
    • 1934, George Orwell, chapter 18, in Burmese Days[3]:
      He rode slowly towards them with a sulky expression on his face, chivvying the polo-ball with small strokes.
    to chivvy the fox

Derived terms[edit]



chivvy (plural chivvies)

  1. A goad.
    • 2003 September 23, “Web payback for delayed commuters”, in BBC News[4]:
      It's just there to act as a chivvy to London Underground.