gaff

1
[ gaf ]
/ gæf /

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).
a metal spur for a gamecock.

verb (used with object)

to hook or land (a fish) with a gaff.

Nearby words

  1. gaelic,
  2. gaelic coffee,
  3. gaelic football,
  4. gaeltacht,
  5. gaeta,
  6. gaff rig,
  7. gaff sail,
  8. gaff topsail,
  9. gaff-rigged,
  10. gaff-topsail

Origin of gaff

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

Can be confusedgaff gaffe

gaff

2
[ gaf ]
/ gæf /

noun

harsh treatment or criticism: All the gaff he took never made him bitter.

Origin of gaff

2
1895–1900, Americanism; compare earlier British use: nonsense, humbug, Scots dial.: loud laugh, guffaw; of uncertain origin; cf. guff

gaff

3
[ 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. 2019

Examples from the Web for gaff


British Dictionary definitions for gaff

gaff

1
/ (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

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

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

Word Origin and History for gaff
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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.