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[chey-fer] /ˈtʃeɪ fər/
any scarabaeid beetle.
Origin of chafer
before 1000; Middle English cheaffer, chaver, Old English ceofor; akin to German Käfer Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for chafer
Historical Examples
  • Then the chafer, who was by a whole day the elder, disappeared among the blades of grass, leaving the other greatly impressed.

    Little Johannes Frederik van Eeden
  • As the chafer spoke they heard a shrill squeak overhead which chilled them to the very marrow.

    Little Johannes Frederik van Eeden
  • The chafer buzzed against his shoulder, gathered flight again, and boomed away.

    The Island Pharisees John Galsworthy
  • A chafer buzzed by, a small black cat played with its tail on some steps in a recess.

    The Freelands John Galsworthy
  • A clock struck seven, and round the shady lime-tree a chafer or some heavy insect commenced its booming rushes.

    The Island Pharisees John Galsworthy
  • Wide as an oxhide was the single eye protruding from his forehead, with seven pupils therein, which were black as a chafer.

  • A single eye in his head, as broad as an oxhide, as black as a chafer, with three pupils therein.

  • The cause of giving the chariot to Fiacc was that a chafer had gnawed his leg, so that death was nigh unto him.

  • May chafer must fly away home, his father is at the wars, his mother is in Pomerania, Pomerania is all burnt.

    Essays in the Study of Folk-Songs (1886) Countess Evelyn Martinengo-Cesaresco
  • The chafer was associated with the sun in Egypt, the broken egg engaged the attention of the thinking in Tibet.

British Dictionary definitions for chafer


any of various scarabaeid beetles, such as the cockchafer and rose chafer
Word Origin
Old English ceafor; related to Old Saxon kevera, Old High German chevar
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 chafer

kind of beetle, Old English ceafor "beetle, cock-chafer," from Proto-Germanic *kabraz- (cf. Old Saxon kevera, Dutch kever, Old High German chevar, German Käfer), literally "gnawer," from PIE *gep(h)- "jaw, mouth" (see jowl (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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