chafe

verb
\ ˈchāf \
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

American institutions are already chafing against Beijing's tightening grip over Taiwan. Rebecca Tan, Washington Post, "The U.S. government has opened a huge new facility in Taiwan, and China isn’t happy," 18 June 2018 But campaign finance rules prohibit Sanders from exerting much influence over the group, which prides itself on bottom-up decision-making driven by grassroots activists, who often chafe at pressure from above. Alex Seitz-wald, NBC News, "Pro-Bernie Sanders group cancels Hillary Clinton protest," 19 Mar. 2018 Younger Thais are also chafing at political restrictions, which included bans on political gatherings and social-media campaigns before the curbs were lifted Tuesday. James Hookway, WSJ, "Thai Junta Lite: Election Season Brings Push for Medical Pot, Same-Sex Unions," 12 Dec. 2018 My only gripe is that the mesh material on the backs of the knees can chafe. Emily Reed, Outside Online, "The Best Leggings of 2018," 5 July 2018 Those chafing at the pace include the California School Boards Association, which wants quicker sales of $7 billion on bonds for construction projects at elementary and high schools and $2 billion for community colleges. Romy Varghese, Bloomberg.com, "California's $83 Billion of Bond Debt Isn't Enough for Some," 6 Mar. 2018 But like any human with legs, Amy worried about thigh-chafing on the red carpet and found a last minute solution: deodorant. Mehera Bonner, Marie Claire, "Here's a Wonderful Video of Amy Schumer Putting Deodorant on Her Inner Thighs," 3 May 2016 The future senator chafed under the strict rules of the school, drawing demerits, but just as many friends who gravitated to his quick wit and adventurous ways. Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, azcentral, "John McCain wants to be buried near his Navy pal Chuck Larson, 'back where it all began'," 10 May 2018 His exit comes not long after the departure of the WhatsApp and Instagram founders, who likewise sold their companies to Facebook for large amounts and ultimately chafed in their roles as part of the social-media giant’s empire. Patrick Thomas, WSJ, "Oculus VR Co-Founder Leaving Facebook," 22 Oct. 2018

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

14 Feb 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 \
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 \
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

Comments on chafe

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