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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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

Michael’s brothers and sisters began to break away, as well, chafing under their father’s harsh style. Matt Schudel, Washington Post, "Joseph Jackson, pop-music patriarch who guided his children to stardom, dies at 89," 27 June 2018 The provisions limited where and how energy companies could drill, and the industry has been chafing at the regulations. Umair Irfan, Vox, "The BP oil spill led to new protections for US waters. Trump repealed them.," 22 June 2018 Venezuelans who are chafing under the country’s economic crisis. Manuel Rueda, The Christian Science Monitor, "As Venezuelans flee, Colombia's welcome walks a 'very fine line'," 20 Mar. 2018 Many Uighurs chafe at the growing presence of Han Chinese in their region, and at increasing restrictions on their personal and religious freedom. The Economist, "China is trying to prevent the formation of a vocal Uighur diaspora," 28 Mar. 2018 Some chafe when DeRozan is called a Los Angeles native, because Compton is the city that forged him. Tania Ganguli, latimes.com, "Toronto star DeMar DeRozan can always come home to Compton," 15 Feb. 2018 Several particularly chafe about parish rules that their parades include a minimum number of floats and marching bands. Drew Broach, NOLA.com, "Another Metairie parade is getting a $25,000 public subsidy," 31 Jan. 2018 Trump and Kelly have drifted apart, as the president has chafed at the retired general’s attempts to impose order. Ken Thomas, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump says he has ‘good relationship’ with chief of staff," 30 June 2018 This latest spat will further chafe diplomatic relations between the two countries, which are virtually frozen in the aftermath of the Salisbury attack, named after the English town where the nerve agent was unleashed. Tim Ross, Bloomberg.com, "U.K. Blames Kremlin for Hoax Call on Boris Johnson," 24 May 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

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

Noun

see chafe entry 1

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Statistics for chafe

Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

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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Comments on chafe

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