- 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 chafing
Wilson, chafing under the delay, was obliged to admit to himself that it was best.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
She had stepped across to that side, and held the hand between her own two, chafing it.Little Dorrit
The latter was worked up by the chafing speeches of the Marshal.My Double Life
Roaring and chafing like an angry sea, the crowd pressed after them.Barnaby Rudge
By this time the first man was chafing to take a second turn.Pariah Planet
- 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 chafing
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.