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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 chaffing
  • Some have furloughs, and start at once for home, sometimes amid great chaffing and blarneying.
  • They can be worn with your kit and there is no chaffing.
  • Such socks can be expensive, but regular cotton socks may become soaked after a time, contributing to chaffing.
  • Use softeners, padding, chaffing gear or other sling protection as necessary to prevent damage to nylon slings.
  • The food is presented buffet style using chaffing dishes instead of steam tables.
  • Secure the transmission line and repair any chaffing.
  • Wires chaffing on moving parts such as the suspension will be cause for rejection.
  • The colorful lines at the end of the net are the tangles and keep the net from chaffing on the bottom.
British Dictionary definitions for chaffing


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 chaffing



"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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chaffing 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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