Dictionary.com

gaff

1
[ gaf ]
/ gæf /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: gaff / gaffed / gaffing on Thesaurus.com

noun
an iron hook with a handle for landing large fish.
the spur on a climbing iron, especially as used by telephone linemen.
Nautical. a spar rising aft from a mast to support the head of a quadrilateral fore-and-aft sail (gaff sail, orgaff-headed sail ).
a metal spur for a gamecock.
verb (used with object)
to hook or land (a fish) with a gaff.
QUIZ
GOOSES. GEESES. I WANT THIS QUIZ ON PLURAL NOUNS!
Test how much you really know about regular and irregular plural nouns with this quiz.
Question 1 of 9
Which of the following nouns has an irregular plural form?

Origin of gaff

1
First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English, from Middle French gaffe, gaff, from Provençal gaf “hook, gaff,” noun derivative of gafar “to seize” (compare Medieval Latin gaffare ), probably from unattested Germanic (Visigothic) gaff-, perhaps derivative from base of Gothic giban “to give”; see give

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH gaff

gaff , gaffe

Other definitions for gaff (2 of 3)

gaff2
[ gaf ]
/ gæf /

noun Slang.
harsh treatment or criticism (usually used in the phrase stand/take the gaff): All the gaff he took never made him bitter.You shouldn't be in show biz if you can't stand the gaff.

Origin of gaff

2
An Americanism dating back to 1895–1900; of uncertain origin; compare earlier British use, “nonsense, humbug,” Scots dialect, “loud laugh, guffaw”; cf. guff

Other definitions for gaff (3 of 3)

gaff3
[ gaf ]
/ gæf /

verb (used with object)
Slang. to cheat; fleece.
verb (used without object)
British Slang. to gamble, especially to indulge in petty gambling, as to toss coins.

Origin of gaff

3
First recorded in 1745–55; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use gaff in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for gaff (1 of 3)

gaff1
/ (ɡæf) /

noun
angling a stiff pole with a stout prong or hook attached for landing large fish
nautical a boom hoisted aft of a mast to support a gaffsail
a metal spur fixed to the leg of a gamecock
verb (tr)
angling to hook or land (a fish) with a gaff
slang to cheat; hoax

Word Origin for gaff

C13: from French gaffe, from Provençal gaf boathook

British Dictionary definitions for gaff (2 of 3)

gaff2
/ (ɡæf) /

noun
slang foolish talk; nonsense
blow the gaff British slang to divulge a secret
stand the gaff slang, mainly US and Canadian to endure ridicule, difficulties, etc

Word Origin for gaff

C19: of unknown origin

British Dictionary definitions for gaff (3 of 3)

gaff3
/ (ɡæf) /

noun British slang, archaic
a person's home, esp a flat
Also called: penny-gaff a cheap or low-class place of entertainment, esp a cheap theatre or music hall in Victorian England

Word Origin for gaff

C18: of unknown origin
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with gaff

gaff

see stand the gaff.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
FEEDBACK