\ 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

After all, Biden’s gaffe hobby goes with along with his other known habit: struggling to apologize. Michael Arceneaux, Essence, "Opinion: I’m Not Overlooking Joe Biden’s Gaffes Just Because Donald Trump Is A Racist Simpleton," 14 Aug. 2019 Keiler pressed Sanders, asking her about another recent gaffe. Oliver Darcy, CNN, "Democrats take aim at the media," 13 Aug. 2019 The difference is because people are looking for signs of potential deterioration, gaffes that would be written off as Joe being Joe can become much more damaging to him. Bill Barrow, The Denver Post, "Biden is still the Democrat to beat, but rivals see weakness," 10 Aug. 2019 Whether or not Harris, Booker or any other of the top contenders takes Biden to task over this latest gaffe remains to be seen., "Joe Biden’s latest gaffe raises eyebrows: ‘Poor kids are just as bright’ as ‘white kids'," 9 Aug. 2019 After a reporter pointed out an apparent gaffe by Jalen Hurd, Shanahan said those rookies weren’t the only ones at fault. Cam Inman, The Mercury News, "What does McKinnon’s clearance mean for 49ers running backs?," 6 Aug. 2019 However, Jurgen Klopp's side have always been the thorniest team in England for Pep Guardiola, and the return of Alisson (gaffes and all), Salah and Firmino will be undoubtedly galvanising., "Liverpool vs Manchester City Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News," 2 Aug. 2019 Here’s Biden’s full closing remarks, gaffes and all: Thank you. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "What Biden meant to say in his bungled debate closing statement," 1 Aug. 2019 Get our daily newsletter Now Canada’s touchy relations with the two superpowers are echoed in a strained relationship with India, where a visit by Justin Trudeau last year was marred by diplomatic gaffes. The Economist, "Foreign policyCanada is feeling lonely, but its place internationally is still strong," 25 July 2019

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

Comments on gaffe

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a period when something is suspended

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