[ ohf ]
/ oʊf /


a clumsy, stupid person; lout.
a simpleton; dunce; blockhead.
  1. a deformed or mentally deficient child.
  2. a changeling.

Nearby words

  1. o/a,
  2. o/c,
  3. o/s,
  4. o2o,
  5. oa,
  6. oafish,
  7. oahu,
  8. oak,
  9. oak apple,
  10. oak creek

Origin of oaf

1615–25; variant of auf, Middle English alfe, Old English ælf elf; cognate with German Alp nightmare
Related formsoaf·ish, adjectiveoaf·ish·ly, adverboaf·ish·ness, noun
Can be confusedoaf oath

Synonym study

1. See boorish.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for oaf

British Dictionary definitions for oaf


/ (əʊf) /


a stupid or loutish person
Derived Formsoafish, adjectiveoafishly, adverboafishness, noun

Word Origin for oaf

C17: variant of Old English ælf elf
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 oaf



1620s, auf, oph (modern form from 1630s), "a changeling; a foolish child left by the fairies" [Johnson], from a Scandinavian source, cf. Norwegian alfr "silly person," in Old Norse, "elf" (see elf). Hence, "a misbegotten, deformed idiot." Until recently, some dictionaries still gave the plural as oaves.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper