follow Dictionary.com

Your favorite word could be our Word of the Day!

gaffe

[gaf] /gæf/
noun
1.
a social blunder; faux pas.
Origin
1905-1910
1905-10; < French: blunder, probably special use of gaffe gaff1
Can be confused
gaff, gaffe, graph.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for gaffes
  • The widely reported gaffes had appeared in other oil companies' spill-response plans as well.
  • gaffes, bungles, and inanities still get covered up.
  • But he flouts etiquette so reliably that you can't call these things gaffes.
  • Laughter is also there for all the hitches, glitches, and gaffes that are part of our imperfect existence.
  • Besides eating out less often, he says, diners are less patient with restaurant gaffes such as cold food or slow service.
  • The gaffes last year in the playoffs amped up the discussion to expand the use of instant replay.
  • When the microphones were on, gaffes gushed from his lips.
  • Given his predilection for gaffes, his supporters are only half joking when they say he should start that silence now.
  • Despite some gaffes last year, the administration is proving popular and effective in the region.
  • Besides looking presidential, a candidate must avoid gaffes.
British Dictionary definitions for gaffes

gaffe

/ɡæf/
noun
1.
a social blunder, esp a tactless remark
Word Origin
C19: from French
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for gaffes

gaffe

n.

"blunder," 1909, perhaps from French gaffe "clumsy remark," originally "boat hook," from Middle French gaffe (15c.), from Old Provençal gaf, probably from a Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *gafa. Sense connection is obscure; the gaff was used to land big fish. Or it may derive from British slang gaff "to cheat, trick" (1893); or gaff "criticism" (1896), from Scottish dialect sense of "loud, rude talk" (see gaff (n.2)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for gaffe

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for gaffes

13
14
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for gaffes