chaff

noun (1)
\ ˈchaf \

Definition of chaff 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : the seed coverings and other debris separated from the seed in threshing grain

2 : something comparatively worthless a few kernels of wisdom amid much discursive chaff —Steven Raichlen

3 : the scales borne on the receptacle among the florets in the heads of many composite plants

4 : material (such 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) planes equipped with chaff dispensers

chaff

noun (2)

Definition of chaff (Entry 2 of 3)

: light jesting talk : banter

chaff

verb
chaffed; chaffing; chaffs

Definition of chaff (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to tease good-naturedly

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from chaff

Noun (1)

chaffy \ˈcha-fē \ adjective

Synonyms for chaff

Synonyms: Verb

banter, fool, fun, gag, jape, jest, jive, joke, jolly, josh, kid, quip, wisecrack

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of chaff in a Sentence

Verb

chaffed her about the brightly colored shirt she had received as a gift a coworker who likes to chaff at others' expense, and this often results in hurt feelings

First Known Use of chaff

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1821, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1827, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for chaff

Noun (1)

Middle English chaf, from Old English ceaf; akin to Old High German cheva husk

Noun (2)

probably from chaff entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about chaff

Phrases Related to chaff

separate the wheat from the chaff

Statistics for chaff

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for chaff

The first known use of chaff was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for chaff

chaff

noun
\ ˈchaf \

Kids Definition of chaff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the husks of grains and grasses separated from the seed in threshing

2 : something worthless

chaff

verb
chaffed; chaffing

Kids Definition of chaff (Entry 2 of 2)

: to tease in a friendly way

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on chaff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for chaff

Spanish Central: Translation of chaff

Nglish: Translation of chaff for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chaff for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about chaff

Comments on chaff

What made you want to look up chaff? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the setting in which something occurs

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!