- to wear or abrade by rubbing: He chafed his shoes on the rocks.
- to make sore by rubbing: Her collar chafed her neck.
- to irritate; annoy: The dripping of the faucet chafed her nerves.
- to warm by rubbing: to chafe cold hands.
- Obsolete. to heat; make warm.
- to become worn or sore from rubbing: His neck began to chafe from the starched collar.
- to rub; press with friction: The horse chafed against his stall.
- to be irritated or annoyed: He chafed at their constant interruptions.
- irritation; annoyance.
- heat, wear, or soreness caused by rubbing.
- chafe at the bit, to become impatient at delay: The work was going very slowly, and he began to chafe at the bit.
Origin of chafe
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for chafe
Some people may simply find ways to sever their awkward ties that chafe.Income Inequality Within Families is Emerging as a Major Issue
Janna Malamud Smith
January 19, 2013
But it does chafe to be arrested by language cops when you are in fact driving in the right lane.Policing the Grammar Police
October 19, 2012
I miss the strife His shrunken staff, his hungry wife Inflame chafe!
“Clinton was even more bizarre, because of his lack of discipline,” Chafe said.Obama's Incredible Poker Face
May 2, 2011
I chafe under dependence, and I know not how to assert my freedom.One Of Them
Charles James Lever
That he was beginning to chafe, to fret, and shuffle his feet only added to my dismay.Romance
Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
He rolled him over on his back and began to chafe his hands.
Watch that your pride does not chafe them—your power does not wantonly gall.
Planks, secured to the rail by lines, were then run down to bear the chafe.Left on Labrador
Charles Asbury Stephens
- to make or become sore or worn by rubbing
- (tr) to warm (the hands, etc) by rubbing
- to irritate or be irritated or impatienthe was chafed because he was not allowed out
- (intr; often foll by on, against, etc) to cause friction; rub
- chafe at the bit See champ 1 (def. 3)
- a soreness or irritation caused by friction
Word Origin and History for chafe
early 14c., chaufen, c.1300, "be provoked;" late 14c. in literal sense "to make warm, to heat," also intransitive, "to grow warm or hot," especially (early 15c.) "to warm by rubbing," from Old French chaufer "heat, warm up, become warm" (12c., Modern French chauffer), from Vulgar Latin *calefare, from Latin calefacere "to make hot, make warm," from calere "be warm" (see calorie) + facere "to make, do" (see factitious).
Figurative sense from late 14c. include now-obsolete "kindle (joy), inspire, make passionate" as well as "provoke, vex, anger." Sense of "make sore by rubbing" first recorded 1520s. Related: Chafed; chafing.
- To cause irritation of the skin by friction.