chafe

verb
\ ˈchāf How to pronounce chafe (audio) \
chafed; chafing

Definition of chafe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : irritate, vex The noise of the children playing chafed her.
2 : to warm by rubbing especially with the hands
3a : to rub so as to wear away : abrade the strap chafed his skin The boat chafed its sides against the dock.
b : to make sore by or as if by rubbing The tight collar chafed his neck.

intransitive verb

1 : to feel irritation, discontent, or impatience : fret chafes at the rules
2 : to rub and thereby cause wear or irritation The baby's skin chafes if the strap is too tight.

chafe

noun

Definition of chafe (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a state of vexation : rage the cardinal in a state of chafe sent for him— William Camden
2 : injury or wear caused by friction Gloves provide protection against chafe. also : friction, rubbing

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Synonyms for chafe

Synonyms: Verb

abrade, excoriate, fret, gall, irritate

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Examples of chafe in a Sentence

Verb

When the strap is too tight, it chafes the baby's skin. If my boots aren't laced up tight they chafe. The baby's skin will chafe if the strap is too tight.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Puerto Ricans have long chafed at the island’s poor governance and commonwealth status. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "The Frustration Behind Puerto Rico’s Popular Movement," 26 July 2019 The lone voice of reason belongs to new recruit Starlight (Erin Moriarity), an actual do-gooder who chafes at Vought's corporatized kayfabe. Peter Rubin, WIRED, "Amazon's The Boys Tests the Limits of Superhero Fatigue," 26 July 2019 The Middle East country has chafed under American sanctions since Mr. Trump withdrew from an international deal to open Iran’s economy in exchange for limits on its nuclear program. Vivian Salama, WSJ, "Trump Says Downing of U.S. Drone May Have Been Unintentional," 20 June 2019 The righteously perverse individual appreciates the value of rationality, morality, and the good life—and then, chafing against them, chooses another path. Paul Bloom, The New Yorker, "The Strange Appeal of Perverse Actions," 19 July 2019 Yet Assange still chafed at being monitored by Ecuadorian security staff, leading him to start fistfights with guards and even smear his feces on walls in protest. oregonlive.com, "Julian Assange secretly met with 2016 election hackers, wielded feces to protest surveillance of his activities: report," 18 July 2019 Once more, cannily efficient words—a tricky year—chafe against the carefully crafted, strategically vulnerable discussion that came before. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "Aziz Ansari and the Physics of Moving Forward," 11 July 2019 During his time in Congress, Sestak chafed many top Democrats for challenging longtime incumbents. Andrew O'reilly | Fox News, Fox News, "Former Rep. Joe Sestak becomes 25th Democrat to enter White House race," 23 June 2019 In Benton Harbor, residents and city officials chafed under the state’s close watch, and rumors about a school shutdown began to surface. Mitch Smith, New York Times, "Michigan Officials Say a Struggling School Should Close. Residents See Racism.," 15 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Life for the gallery residents is timeless and pleasant, for the most part, though some do chafe under Lord Beaverbrook’s strict rules. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: Meeting the People in the Paintings," 5 July 2018 Get ahead of the rub by wearing these $12 anti-chafe bands. Mona Gohara, Good Housekeeping, "How to Prevent and Treat That Annoying Rash Between Your Thighs," 6 July 2018 Some veterans of the Trump White House say the president chafes under the sort of hierarchical structure that Mr. Kelly sought to create, preferring to consult with friends and associates on his own timetable. Peter Nicholas, WSJ, "Trump Consults on Successors for Chief of Staff John Kelly," 28 June 2018 The smooth, chafe-free waistband sat tidily beneath the hipbelt of my pack. Kelly Bastone, Outside Online, "The Best Shorts for Women," 31 May 2018 He's insisted on stiffer penalties and chafes when players deny knowingly taking PEDs in the face of positive tests. Scott Boeck, USA TODAY, "Justin Verlander anticipated a PED denial from Robinson Cano - who did not disappoint," 15 May 2018 The former New York City mayor has only been on the job as a member of the President's legal team for 19 days and, already, the big guy is starting to chafe. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "The 'Donald Trump is getting sick of Rudy Giuliani' storyline is the most predictable thing ever," 8 May 2018 Not only that, the overlap cuff means no tongue to pinch, slide, or chafe. Wired Staff, WIRED, "All the Gear We Loved in March," 31 Mar. 2018 Get our daily newsletter Military top brass chafe at the suggestion that the JROTC is chiefly a recruitment scheme. The Economist, "Should the army subsidise high-school soldiering?," 1 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chafe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of chafe

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1551, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for chafe

Verb and Noun

Middle English chaufen to warm, from Anglo-French chaufer, from Vulgar Latin *calfare, alteration of Latin calefacere, from calēre to be warm + facere to make — more at lee, do

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Statistics for chafe

Last Updated

15 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for chafe

The first known use of chafe was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for chafe

chafe

verb

English Language Learners Definition of chafe

: to become irritated or annoyed : to feel impatient
: to cause soreness or damage by rubbing against something (such as your skin)
: to become sore or damaged from rubbing

chafe

verb
\ ˈchāf How to pronounce chafe (audio) \
chafed; chafing

Kids Definition of chafe

1 : to become irritated or impatient Some of the guests chafed at the sleeping arrangements.
2 : to rub so as to wear away or make sore Chains chafed the skin of the animal's legs.
\ ˈchāf How to pronounce chafe (audio) \
chafed; chafing

Medical Definition of chafe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to irritate or make sore by or as if by rubbing

chafe

noun

Medical Definition of chafe (Entry 2 of 2)

: injury caused by friction

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More from Merriam-Webster on chafe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with chafe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for chafe

Spanish Central: Translation of chafe

Nglish: Translation of chafe for Spanish Speakers

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