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From chivy, chevy (“to chase; to race, scamper”), from chivy, chevy (“a chase, hunt, pursuit”), probably from the title of The Ballad of Chevy Chase, first published in The Complaynt of Scotland (1549); the ballad is about a hunt taking place on a chase (“large country estate where game may be hunted”) in the Cheviot Hills between Northumberland and the Scottish Borders, and is thought to allude to the Battle of Otterburn in 1388.
- (transitive, Britain) To coerce or hurry along, as by persistent request. [from late 18th c.]
- (transitive, Britain) To subject to harassment or verbal abuse.
- (transitive, Britain) To sneak up on or rapidly approach.
- (transitive, Britain) To pursue as in a hunt. [from mid 19th c.]
chivvy (plural chivvies)
- (Britain) Something that encourages one to act; a goad, a spur.