\ 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

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 And then, with a gaffe in their second and final debate, McAuliffe helped Youngkin unite the constituencies for those disparate messages. Eric Bradner, CNN, 5 Nov. 2021 Brady wasn’t keen to answer questions about his gaffe a year ago. Dan Wiederer,, 23 Oct. 2021 The gaffe comes after Nielsen has been under intense scrutiny for months. Brian Steinberg, Variety, 22 Dec. 2021 The gaffe didn't change the outcome of the game but Chryst was asked about the issue afterward. Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 29 Nov. 2021 The University of Arkansas Razorbacks, the college team from which Moody was drafted, made sure to poke some fun at the analyst on Twitter, but Perkins took the gaffe in stride. Brigid Kennedy, The Week, 30 July 2021 Embarrassed by a gaffe on the bases, the ex-Twin got revenge with a two-run, tiebreaking single. Eddie Rosario, Star Tribune, 24 June 2021 Now, fans of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel — who last saw the show in a pre-pandemic world that feels like 30 years ago — will finally get a resolution to Midge’s gaffe when the show returns in February. Jason Newman, Rolling Stone, 2 Dec. 2021 NBC Peacock had another gaffe as WWE Extreme Rules aired two different commentary languages at the same time. Alfred Konuwa, Forbes, 27 Sep. 2021

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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Last Updated

18 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Gaffe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for gaffe



English Language Learners Definition of gaffe

: a mistake made in a social situation

More from Merriam-Webster on gaffe

Nglish: Translation of gaffe for Spanish Speakers


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