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[chaf, chahf] /tʃæf, tʃɑf/
verb (used with or without object)
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
First recorded in 1640-50; perhaps from chaff1
Related forms
chaffingly, adverb
unchaffed, adjective
unchaffing, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for chaffed
Historical Examples
  • He felt that she was chaffing him, and he did not want to be chaffed by her.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine
  • He chaffed Margaret too, and Margaret roused from a grave meditation was pleased and chaffed him back.

    Howards End E. M. Forster
  • He chaffed his father and even Anne, and left Lydia out, to her own pain.

    The Prisoner Alice Brown
  • I mentioned it at the Club, and when old Charley turned up he was chaffed by the others.

    Australia Revenged Boomerang
  • In the company of his fellows he was either neglected or chaffed.

    Tales Of Hearsay Joseph Conrad
  • "Go get out your car, Darling; I want to beat you," chaffed the next in line.

    The Flying Mercury Eleanor M. Ingram
  • Ribiera chaffed him jovially on the way to the flying field.

  • Long years afterwards he used to be chaffed about it, and stood it very badly.

    The Shellback's Progress Walter Runciman
  • Well, you're not the first man who has chaffed me about that.

    The Doctor of Pimlico William Le Queux
  • "I shall get chaffed about this if it comes out," she said regretfully.

    The Girl on the Boat Pelham Grenville Wodehouse
British Dictionary definitions for chaffed


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
Derived Forms
chaffy, adjective
Word Origin
Old English ceaf; related to Old High German keva husk


light-hearted teasing or joking; banter
to tease good-naturedly; banter
Derived Forms
chaffer, noun
Word Origin
C19: probably slang variant of chafe, perhaps influenced by chaff1
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
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Word Origin and History for chaffed



"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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