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chaff1

[chaf, chahf] /tʃæf, tʃɑf/
noun
1.
the husks of grains and grasses that are separated during threshing.
2.
straw cut up for fodder.
3.
worthless matter; refuse.
4.
the membranous, usually dry, brittle bracts of the flowers of certain plants.
5.
Also called window. Military. strips of metal foil dropped by an aircraft to confuse enemy radar by creating false blips.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English chaf, Old English ceaf; cognate with Middle Low German, Dutch kaf
Related forms
chaffless, adjective
chafflike, adjective

chaff2

[chaf, chahf] /tʃæf, tʃɑf/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
1.
to mock, tease, or jest in a good-natured way; banter:
She chaffed him for working late. They joked and chaffed with each other.
noun
2.
good-natured ridicule or teasing; raillery.
Origin
1640-50; perhaps from chaff1
Related forms
chaffingly, adverb
unchaffed, adjective
unchaffing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for chaff
  • Found in his apparel were traces of wheat chaff and husks of barley.
  • People were hungry, reduced to eating chaff and weeds.
  • It's heartening to see only one piece of chaff in the wheat here.
  • Allow grits to settle in saucepan, then skim off chaff and hulls that float to surface.
  • Nothing wrong with separating the wheat from the chaff.
  • In fact, now the problem was finding the wheat from the chaff.
  • Time is the element that separates the wheat from the chaff.
  • It also produces far too many ideas: managers have to spend weeks sorting through the chaff to find a few grains of wheat.
  • It's surprisingly easy to sift through the chaff for the wheat.
  • Had there not been so much chaff mixed with the wheat, the entire session would have been one long riot.
British Dictionary definitions for chaff

chaff1

/tʃɑːf/
noun
1.
the mass of husks, etc, separated from the seeds during threshing
2.
finely cut straw and hay used to feed cattle
3.
something of little worth; rubbish (esp in the phrase separate the wheat from the chaff)
4.
the dry membranous bracts enclosing the flowers of certain composite plants
5.
thin strips of metallic foil released into the earth's atmosphere to confuse radar signals and prevent detection
Derived Forms
chaffy, adjective
Word Origin
Old English ceaf; related to Old High German keva husk

chaff2

/tʃɑːf/
noun
1.
light-hearted teasing or joking; banter
verb
2.
to tease good-naturedly; banter
Derived Forms
chaffer, noun
Word Origin
C19: probably slang variant of chafe, perhaps influenced by chaff1
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 chaff
n.

"husks," Old English ceaf "chaff," probably from Proto-Germanic *kaf- "to gnaw, chew" (cf. Middle Dutch and Dutch kaf, German Kaff), from PIE root *gep(h)- "jaw, mouth" (see jowl (n.1)). Used figuratively for "worthless material" from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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chaff in the Bible

the refuse of winnowed corn. It was usually burned (Ex. 15:7; Isa. 5:24; Matt. 3:12). This word sometimes, however, means dried grass or hay (Isa. 5:24; 33:11). Chaff is used as a figure of abortive wickedness (Ps. 1:4; Matt. 3:12). False doctrines are also called chaff (Jer. 23:28), or more correctly rendered "chopped straw." The destruction of the wicked, and their powerlessness, are likened to the carrying away of chaff by the wind (Isa. 17:13; Hos. 13:3; Zeph. 2:2).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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16
16
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