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[chaf, chahf] /tʃæf, tʃɑf/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
to mock, tease, or jest in a good-natured way; banter:
She chaffed him for working late. They joked and chaffed with each other.
good-natured ridicule or teasing; raillery.
Origin of chaff2
1640-50; perhaps from chaff1
Related forms
chaffingly, adverb
unchaffed, adjective
unchaffing, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for chaffed
Historical Examples
  • Joan told me about it at the beginning when I chaffed her about his loving her; and he does, you know he does.

    To Love Margaret Peterson
  • He chaffed his father and even Anne, and left Lydia out, to her own pain.

    The Prisoner Alice Brown
  • Various dons came up and chaffed me about the opposition I made to the MS. being purchased.

    Masques & Phases Robert Ross
  • Ribiera chaffed him jovially on the way to the flying field.

  • But this sentinel was of such a nervous disposition that he had been chaffed about his timidity more than once.

  • Well, you're not the first man who has chaffed me about that.

    The Doctor of Pimlico William Le Queux
  • Clay was chaffed unmercifully about the calf, and Nugget also came in for a goodly share of ridicule.

    Canoe Boys and Campfires William Murray Graydon
  • "But we shall be chaffed, if we don't ride after the hounds, Colonel," Hallett said.

  • At first she would n't regard me seriously; she chaffed me and made light of me.

    Roderick Hudson Henry James
  • I was not a little elated, and chaffed the Doanes considerably.

    When Life Was Young C. A. Stephens
British Dictionary definitions for chaffed


the mass of husks, etc, separated from the seeds during threshing
finely cut straw and hay used to feed cattle
something of little worth; rubbish (esp in the phrase separate the wheat from the chaff)
the dry membranous bracts enclosing the flowers of certain composite plants
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


light-hearted teasing or joking; banter
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 chaffed



"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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chaffed 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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