I. noun Etymology: Middle English chaf, from Old English ceaf; akin to Old High German cheva husk Date: before 12th century 1. the seed coverings and other debris separated from the seed in threshing grain 2. something comparatively worthless 3. the scales borne on the receptacle among the florets in the heads of many composite plants 4. material (as strips of foil or clusters of fine wires) ejected into the air for reflecting radar waves (as for confusing an enemy's radar detection) • chaffy adjective II. noun Etymology: probably from 1chaff Date: 1821 light jesting talk ; banter III. verb Date: 1827 transitive verb to tease good-naturedly intransitive verb jest, banter

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Chaff — Chaff, n. [AC. ceaf; akin to D. kaf, G. kaff.] [1913 Webster] 1. The glumes or husks of grains and grasses separated from the seed by threshing and winnowing, etc. [1913 Webster] So take the corn and leave the chaff behind. Dryden. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • chaff — chaff·ing·ly; chaff·less; chaff; chiff·chaff; …   English syllables

  • chaff — Ⅰ. chaff [1] ► NOUN 1) the husks of grain or other seed separated by winnowing or threshing. 2) chopped hay and straw used as fodder. ● separate (or sort) the wheat from the chaff Cf. ↑sort the wheat from the chaff …   English terms dictionary

  • Chaff — Chaff, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Chaffed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Chaffing}.] To use light, idle language by way of fun or ridicule; to banter. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Chaff — Chaff, v. t. To make fun of; to turn into ridicule by addressing in ironical or bantering language; to quiz. [1913 Webster] Morgan saw that his master was chaffing him. Thackeray. [1913 Webster] A dozen honest fellows . . . chaffed each other… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • chaff — [tʃa:f US tʃæf] n [U] [: Old English; Origin: ceaf] 1.) the outer seed covers that are separated from grain before it is used as food 2.) dried grasses and plant stems that are used for food for farm animals →separate the wheat from the chaff at… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • chaff — [n] waste crust, debris, dregs, husks, pod, refuse, remains, rubbish, shard, shell, trash; concept 679 chaff [v] joke, ridicule banter, deride, fun, jeer, jolly, josh, kid, mock, rag*, rally, razz*, rib*, scoff, taunt, tease; concept 273 …   New thesaurus

  • chaff — index jape, mock (deride), ridicule Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • chaff — (n.) husks, O.E. ceaf, probably from P.Gmc. *kaf to gnaw, chew (Cf. M.Du. kaf, Ger. Kaff), from PIE root *gep(h) jaw, mouth …   Etymology dictionary

  • chaff — vb *banter, kid, rag, jolly, rib, josh Analogous words: tease, tantalize, *worry: *ridicule, deride, twit, taunt …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • chaff — [chaf, chäf] n. [ME chaf < OE ceaf; akin to MDu caf, Ger kaff] 1. the husks of wheat or other grain separated in threshing or winnowing 2. fine cut hay or straw, used for fodder 3. anything regarded as worthless 4. tiny strips of metal foil… …   English World dictionary

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