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[chop-ee] /ˈtʃɒp i/
adjective, choppier, choppiest.
(of the sea, a lake, etc.) forming short, irregular, broken waves.
(of the wind) shifting or changing suddenly or irregularly; variable.
uneven in style or quality or characterized by poorly related parts:
The book was a choppy first novel.
Origin of choppy
1595-1605; chop2 + -y1
Related forms
choppily, adverb
choppiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for choppy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When they reached the ocean they joined a convoy of a dozen ships, screened in a cold mist and rocked by a choppy sea.

  • He scanned the choppy sea for signs of a British patrol boat.

  • The sea was serenely smooth, with hardly a choppy wave, and the wind brisk and exhilarating.

    The Smoky God Willis George Emerson
  • Presently he resumed his repose, chuckling a choppy little laugh.

  • In the days which followed I appeared to myself like a rudderless ship in a choppy sea.

    My Actor-Husband Anonymous
British Dictionary definitions for choppy


adjective -pier, -piest
(of the sea, weather, etc) fairly rough
Derived Forms
choppily, adverb
choppiness, noun
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
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Word Origin and History for choppy

1830 (of seas), from chop (v.2) + -y (2). Earlier in this sense was chopping (1630s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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