oaf

[ohf]
noun
1.
a clumsy, stupid person; lout.
2.
a simpleton; dunce; blockhead.
3.
Archaic.
a.
a deformed or mentally deficient child.
b.
a changeling.

Origin:
1615–25; variant of auf, Middle English alfe, Old English ælf elf; cognate with German Alp nightmare

oafish, adjective
oafishly, adverb
oafishness, noun

oaf, oath.


1. churl, boor. 2. dolt, ninny.
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World English Dictionary
oaf (əʊf)
 
n
a stupid or loutish person
 
[C17: variant of Old English ælfelf]
 
'oafish
 
adj
 
'oafishly
 
adv
 
'oafishness
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

oaf
1610 (implied in oafish), also auf (1621), "a changeling; a foolish child left by the fairies" [Johnson], from a Scand. source, cf. Norw. alfr "silly person," in O.N., "elf" (see elf). Hence, "a misbegotten, deformed idiot." Until recently, some dictionaries still gave the plural as oaves.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Without missing a beat, he transformed himself into a clumsy oaf and gave us three minute of delightful spontaneous clowning.
Let's be serious, the lady is a clumsy, heavy handed oaf.
Cart this oaf out to the stadium and sell admission to help pay off the debt.
He ought to have written the collector down for an oaf and a bully-he had painted enough in his years-and forgotten the matter.
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