oaf

play
noun \ˈōf\

Definition of oaf

plural

oafs

  1. 1 :  a stupid person :  boob

  2. 2 :  a big clumsy slow-witted person

oafish

play \ˈō-fish\ adjective

oafishly

adverb

oafishness

noun

Examples of oaf in a sentence

  1. <it's not polite to call your brother a stupid oaf>

  2. <anyone who took him for an oaf and tried to cheat him would be in for a nasty surprise>

Did You Know?

A long time ago in England, it was believed that goblins sometimes secretly exchanged their babies for human babies. This was used as an explanation when parents found themselves with a particularly ugly or deformed child: these parents wanted to believe that their real baby had been stolen by goblins, and the other left in its place. The label for such a child was auf, or alfe (meaning "goblin's child"), terms that were later altered to form our present-day oaf. Although the linguistic history is not entirely clear, auf and alfe are likely from the Middle English alven and elven, meaning "elf" or "fairy." Today the word oaf is no longer associated with unattractive babies and is instead applied to anyone who appears especially unintelligent or graceless.

Origin and Etymology of oaf

alteration of auf, alfe goblin's child, probably from Middle English alven, elven elf, fairy, from Old English elfen nymphs; akin to Old English ælf elf — more at elf


First Known Use: 1692


OAF Defined for English Language Learners

oaf

play
noun \ˈōf\

Definition of oaf for English Language Learners

  • : a stupid or awkward person


OAF Defined for Kids

oaf

play
noun \ˈōf\

Definition of oaf for Students

  1. :  a stupid or awkward person

oafish

\ˈō-fish\ adjective

Learn More about oaf


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