gaffe

noun \ ˈgaf \
Updated on: 3 Dec 2017

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

Examples of gaffe in a Sentence

  1. He realized that he had committed an awful gaffe when he mispronounced her name.

  2. committed a huge gaffe when she started drinking from the finger bowl

Recent Examples of gaffe from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of gaffe

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


GAFFE Defined for English Language Learners

gaffe

noun

Definition of gaffe for English Language Learners

  • : a mistake made in a social situation



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

the significant part of a grievance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu-jedi-training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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!