from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Chiefly British A laborer, especially one employed in construction or excavation projects.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. a laborer on a civil engineering project such as a canal or railroad
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Originally, a laborer on canals for internal navigation; hence, a laborer on other public works, as in building railroads, embankments, etc.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Same as navigation, 4.
- n. Same as navigator, 2.
- n. A common laborer engaged in such work as the making of canals or railways.
- n. A power-machine for excavating earth.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a laborer who is obliged to do menial work
The navvy was a fine specimen of humanity, with a complexion tanned a dusky coffee colour.
"Sanitary Tom" (as the boys called the navvy who was his stout ally), had been at work laying bare the subterranean geography of our premises and making all right.
It was in the formation of this, the true beginning of railways, that the British "navvy" was called into being.
He can doff them and work like a 'navvy' when he sees reason.
"navvy," had just disposed of a supply of rugs and was wending his way homeward at the same time.
He was good for nothing now except navvy work, and his broken nose and swollen ear were against him even in that.
He had done a few days 'navvy work when he could get it, and he had run around the Domain in the early mornings to get his legs in shape.
He felt weak and sore, and the pain of his smashed knuckles warned him that, even if he could find a job at navvy work, it would be a week before he could grip a pick handle or a shovel.
Oh, I sleep like a baby, eat like a navvy, and in years have not enjoyed such physical well-being.
It is a building where the homeless, bedless, penniless man, if he be lucky, may CASUALLY rest his weary bones, and then work like a navvy next day to pay for it.
Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.