verb (used with or without object)

  1. to mock, tease, or jest in a good-natured way; banter: She chaffed him for working late. They joked and chaffed with each other.


  1. good-natured ridicule or teasing; raillery.


  1. the mass of husks, etc, separated from the seeds during threshing
  2. finely cut straw and hay used to feed cattle
  3. something of little worth; rubbish (esp in the phrase separate the wheat from the chaff)
  4. the dry membranous bracts enclosing the flowers of certain composite plants
  5. thin strips of metallic foil released into the earth’s atmosphere to confuse radar signals and prevent detection


  1. light-hearted teasing or joking; banter


  1. to tease good-naturedly; banter

“husks,” Old English ceaf “chaff,” probably from Proto-Germanic *kaf- “to gnaw, chew” (cf. Middle Dutch and Dutch kaf, German Kaff), from PIE root *gep(h)- “jaw, mouth” (see jowl (n.1)). Used figuratively for “worthless material” from late 14c.

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