- the husks of grains and grasses that are separated during threshing.
- straw cut up for fodder.
- worthless matter; refuse.
- the membranous, usually dry, brittle bracts of the flowers of certain plants.
- Also called window. Military. strips of metal foil dropped by an aircraft to confuse enemy radar by creating false blips.
Origin of chaff1
- 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
Examples from the Web for chaff
For CinemaSins, the cookie cutter approach often takes much of the chaff, but leaves behind the wheat.The Witty Genius of YouTube’s CinemaSins: Everything Wrong with Your Favorite Movie
April 3, 2014
I say you're no good as an interview because no one is very good at sorting the wheat from the chaff.Even Google Doesn't Do Interviews Better
June 20, 2013
Yankees tend to shrug off such numbers as largely the chaff drifting down.As the North Rests on Its Laurels, the South Is Rising Fast
June 17, 2013
Your miner friends notice the stiffness of your walk and chaff you about it.Thatcher's Economic Legacy
April 8, 2013
This is where working your way through all that chaff gets fun.100 Cool Uncommon Baby Names
Pamela Redmond Satran/Nameberry
July 28, 2010
He collected what he wanted grain by grain from bushels of chaff.The Leopard Woman
Stewart Edward White
When I had emptied myself of my chaff, I perceived that the time had come.Questionable Shapes
William Dean Howells
All this was only chaff and fun, for all the fairies were in good humor.Welsh Fairy Tales
William Elliott Griffis
A cry of surprise was raised, and drowned in a volley of ribald inquiry and chaff.The Black Bag
Louis Joseph Vance
Geoff had to stand some chaff from his friends on the subject of the "darkey," of course.Great Uncle Hoot-Toot
- 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
- light-hearted teasing or joking; banter
- to tease good-naturedly; banter
Word Origin and History for chaff
"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.