What does navvy mean?

Definitions for navvy
ˈnæv inavvy

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word navvy.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. drudge, peon, navvy, galley slavenoun

    a laborer who is obliged to do menial work


  1. navvynoun

    a laborer on a civil engineering project such as a canal or railroad

  2. Etymology: from the navigation canals upon which these workers first toiled


  1. navvy

    A navvy, short for "navigator", is a manual laborer, especially one who was employed in digging canals, tunnels, or railways in the 18th-20th centuries. The term is now used less frequently but may refer to anyone involved in heavy, unskilled manual work.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Navvynoun

    originally, a laborer on canals for internal navigation; hence, a laborer on other public works, as in building railroads, embankments, etc

  2. Etymology: [Abbreviated fr. navigator.]


  1. Navvy

    Navvy, a shorter form of navigator or navigational engineer, is particularly applied to describe the manual labourers working on major civil engineering projects. The term was coined in the late 18th century in Great Britain when numerous canals were being built, which were also sometimes known as "navigations", or "eternal navigations", intended to last forever.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Navvy

    nav′i, n. a labourer—originally a labourer on a navigation or canal: a machine for digging out earth, &c.—called also French navvy:—pl. Navv′ies. [A contr. of navigator.]

Etymology and Origins

  1. Navvy

    Originally the name of a labourer employed in the construction of canals for inland navigation. An alehouse set up beside one of the earliest canals bore the sign of the “Navigation Inn,” and those who frequented it were called Navigators. This term soon became shortened into Navvies.

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of navvy in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of navvy in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

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"navvy." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 19 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/navvy>.

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    separate or cut with a tool, such as a sharp instrument
    A abash
    B rumpus
    C efface
    D cleave

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