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[cheyf] /tʃeɪf/
verb (used with object), chafed, chafing.
to wear or abrade by rubbing:
He chafed his shoes on the rocks.
to make sore by rubbing:
Her collar chafed her neck.
to irritate; annoy:
The dripping of the faucet chafed her nerves.
to warm by rubbing:
to chafe cold hands.
Obsolete. to heat; make warm.
verb (used without object), chafed, chafing.
to become worn or sore from rubbing:
His neck began to chafe from the starched collar.
to rub; press with friction:
The horse chafed against his stall.
to be irritated or annoyed:
He chafed at their constant interruptions.
irritation; annoyance.
heat, wear, or soreness caused by rubbing.
chafe at the bit, to become impatient at delay:
The work was going very slowly, and he began to chafe at the bit.
Origin of chafe
1275-1325; Middle English chaufen to heat, rub, chafe < Middle French chaufer < Vulgar Latin *calfāre, variant of Latin cal(e)facere, equivalent to cale- (stem of calēre to be hot) + facere to make
Related forms
nonchafing, adjective
overchafe, verb, overchafed, overchafing.
unchafed, adjective
Can be confused
chafe, chaff.
3. exasperate, vex, trouble, provoke. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for chafed
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There was a double click and the bonds tightened painfully, pressing the chafed red skin white.

    The Escape of Mr. Trimm Irvin S. Cobb
  • While Almamen chafed in vain at his arrest, all in the Christian camp was yet still.

    Leila, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • She silenced him with a look that acted on his chafed spirit like oil upon a burn.

    Out of the Depths Robert Ames Bennet
  • De Launay raised his head and chafed his blue and frozen hands.

    Louisiana Lou William West Winter
  • After that, Sir Tristram went to the Lady and he chafed her hands and her face so that she revived from her swoon.

British Dictionary definitions for chafed


to make or become sore or worn by rubbing
(transitive) to warm (the hands, etc) by rubbing
to irritate or be irritated or impatient: he was chafed because he was not allowed out
(intransitive; often foll by on, against, etc) to cause friction; rub
chafe at the bit, See champ1 (sense 3)
a soreness or irritation caused by friction
Word Origin
C14: from Old French chaufer to warm, ultimately from Latin calefacere, from calēre to be warm + facere to make
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 chafed



early 14c., chaufen, c.1300, "be provoked;" late 14c. in literal sense "to make warm, to heat," also intransitive, "to grow warm or hot," especially (early 15c.) "to warm by rubbing," from Old French chaufer "heat, warm up, become warm" (12c., Modern French chauffer), from Vulgar Latin *calefare, from Latin calefacere "to make hot, make warm," from calere "be warm" (see calorie) + facere "to make, do" (see factitious).

Figurative sense from late 14c. include now-obsolete "kindle (joy), inspire, make passionate" as well as "provoke, vex, anger." Sense of "make sore by rubbing" first recorded 1520s. Related: Chafed; chafing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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chafed in Medicine

chafe (chāf)
v. chafed, chaf·ing, chafes
To cause irritation of the skin by friction.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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