\ ˈgaf How to pronounce gaffe (audio) \

Definition of gaffe

1 : a social or diplomatic blunder committed an embarrassing gaffe when he mispronounced her name
2 : a noticeable mistake Kwan did not fall today, as she had in Friday's short program, a gaffe that left her in fourth place.— Christopher Clarey

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Examples of gaffe in a Sentence

He realized that he had committed an awful gaffe when he mispronounced her name. committed a huge gaffe when she started drinking from the finger bowl

Recent Examples on the Web

Adding to the turmoil are several communications gaffes that have contributed to the crisis as Mr. Macri, a former businessman who took office in 2015, looks to unravel the free-spending policies of his leftist predecessor, Cristina Kirchner. Julie Wernau, WSJ, "Argentina’s Central Bank Lifts Policy Rate to 60%," 30 Aug. 2018 The top-level changes announced Monday did not happen without an embarrassing gaffe. Karla Adam, Washington Post, "British cabinet shake-up notable for who stays, not who goes," 8 Jan. 2018 And there are taxonomic gaffes in the accompanying explanatory material (there is no catalog). Peter Plagens, WSJ, "‘3-D Doings: The Imagist Object in Chicago Art, 1964-1980’ Review: A Celebration of the Weird," 18 Sep. 2018 Some insiders feel that Zucker is in an awkward situation because correcting the story would be the second major gaffe on a story involving President Trump – with whom he is known to have a combative relationship. Brian Flood, Fox News, "AT&T silent after Trump calls for telecom giant to fire CNN boss Jeff Zucker," 30 Aug. 2018 Having already been beaten by Karim Benzema the game was tightly poised at 1-1 when Ulreich’s gaffe handed Madrid the ascendency shortly after halftime., "'I'm Sorry': Sven Ulreich Apologises to Fans Following Costly Gaffe in UCL Semi Final," 2 May 2018 Giuliani’s various gaffes were so bad that even other Fox News anchors had to acknowledge them. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "In One Hannity Interview, Giuliani Blew Up Trump’s Arguments in 3 Legal Cases," 3 May 2018 With the pressure for everyone, big and small, to constantly produce new products and new content, there’s a greater chance for gaffes and misunderstandings. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "The biggest beauty trend in 2018? Makeup brands behaving badly," 18 Dec. 2018 There were no controversial foul reversals, no gaffes and not nearly as much competitive spirit. Benjamin Hoffman And Marc Stein, New York Times, "N.B.A. Finals 2018: Warriors Roll Over Cavs in Game 2," 4 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gaffe.' 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 gaffe

1909, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for gaffe

borrowed from French, probably a sense development of gaffe gaff entry 1

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More Definitions for gaffe



English Language Learners Definition of gaffe

: a mistake made in a social situation

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More from Merriam-Webster on gaffe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gaffe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gaffe

Spanish Central: Translation of gaffe

Nglish: Translation of gaffe for Spanish Speakers

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