[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. chaetopod,
  2. chaetotaxy,
  3. chafe,
  4. chafer,
  5. chafeweed,
  6. chaffer,
  7. chaffinch,
  8. chaffy,
  9. chafing dish,
  10. chaga

Origin of chaff

First recorded in 1640–50; perhaps from chaff1

Related formschaff·ing·ly, adverbun·chaffed, adjectiveun·chaff·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for chaffed

British Dictionary definitions for chaffed


/ (tʃɑːf) /


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 Formschaffy, adjective

Word Origin for chaff

Old English ceaf; related to Old High German keva husk


/ (tʃɑːf) /


light-hearted teasing or joking; banter


to tease good-naturedly; banter
Derived Formschaffer, noun

Word Origin for chaff

C19: probably slang variant of chafe, perhaps influenced by chaff 1

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

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