Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

2017 Word of the Year

chafe

[cheyf] /tʃeɪf/
verb (used with object), chafed, chafing.
1.
to wear or abrade by rubbing:
He chafed his shoes on the rocks.
2.
to make sore by rubbing:
Her collar chafed her neck.
3.
to irritate; annoy:
The dripping of the faucet chafed her nerves.
4.
to warm by rubbing:
to chafe cold hands.
5.
Obsolete. to heat; make warm.
verb (used without object), chafed, chafing.
6.
to become worn or sore from rubbing:
His neck began to chafe from the starched collar.
7.
to rub; press with friction:
The horse chafed against his stall.
8.
to be irritated or annoyed:
He chafed at their constant interruptions.
noun
9.
irritation; annoyance.
10.
heat, wear, or soreness caused by rubbing.
Idioms
11.
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
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English chaufen to heat, rub, chafe < Middle French chaufer < Vulgar Latin *calfāre, variant of Latin cal(e)facere, equivalent to cale- (stem of calēre to be hot) + facere to make
Related forms
nonchafing, adjective
overchafe, verb, overchafed, overchafing.
unchafed, adjective
Can be confused
chafe, chaff.
Synonyms
3. exasperate, vex, trouble, provoke.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for chafing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • 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 Charles Dickens
  • The latter was worked up by the chafing speeches of the Marshal.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • Roaring and chafing like an angry sea, the crowd pressed after them.

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • By this time the first man was chafing to take a second turn.

    Pariah Planet Murray Leinster
  • And so Tresler had to be content; ill at ease, chafing, but quite powerless.

    The Night Riders Ridgwell Cullum
  • Robbie had recovered his wakefulness, and was kneeling at Sim's feet, chafing his hands.

  • Mercy was down on her knees beside the insensible man, chafing his hands.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine
British Dictionary definitions for chafing

chafe

/tʃeɪf/
verb
1.
to make or become sore or worn by rubbing
2.
(transitive) to warm (the hands, etc) by rubbing
3.
to irritate or be irritated or impatient: he was chafed because he was not allowed out
4.
(intransitive; often foll by on, against, etc) to cause friction; rub
5.
chafe at the bit, See champ1 (sense 3)
noun
6.
a soreness or irritation caused by friction
Word Origin
C14: from Old French chaufer to warm, ultimately from Latin calefacere, from calēre to be warm + facere to make
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for chafing

chafe

v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
chafing in Medicine

chafe (chāf)
v. chafed, chaf·ing, chafes
To cause irritation of the skin by friction.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for chafing

Word Value for chafing

16
18
Scrabble Words With Friends