a social blunder; faux pas.

1905–10; < French: blunder, probably special use of gaffe gaff1

gaff, gaffe, graph. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gaffe (ɡæf)
a social blunder, esp a tactless remark
[C19: from French]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"blunder," 1909, perhaps from Fr. gaffe "clumsy remark," originally "boat hook," from O.Fr. gaffe, from O.Prov. gaf, probably from W.Goth. *gafa "hook," from P.Gmc. *gafa. Sense connection is obscure. The gaff was also used to land big fish. Or it may derive from Brit. slang gaff "to cheat, trick" (1893);
or gaff "criticism" (1896), from Scot. dial. sense of "loud, rude talk," which ultimately may be from O.E. gaf-spræc "blasphemous or ribald speech."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Nor is it the first gaffe to strike the current campaign.
The gaffe caused a six-day delay in election results, but wasn't insurmountable.
Not so much a gaffe as a simply horrible, uninspiring design.
At one point, he explained the residency gaffe by saying he didn't read his tax
  return before signing it.
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