Share this entry

Share this page

gaffe

Syllabification: gaffe
Pronunciation: /ɡaf
 
/

Definition of gaffe in English:

noun

An unintentional act or remark causing embarrassment to its originator; a blunder: an unforgivable social gaffe
More example sentences
  • He was forced to resign from the position of transport secretary at the end of May after an 11-month tenure marked by a series of gaffes and blunders.
  • Embarrassment concerns lighter social gaffes and violations of decorous comportment.
  • Otherwise it's merely a gaffe, an embarrassment or a row.
Synonyms
blunder, mistake, error, slip, faux pas, indiscretion, impropriety, miscalculation, gaucherie, solecism
informal slip-up, howler, boo-boo, fluff, flub, blooper, goof

Origin

early 20th century: from French, literally 'boat hook'(from Provençal gaf: see gaff1), used colloquially to mean 'blunder'.

Words that rhyme with gaffe

caff, carafe, faff, gaff, naff, Najaf, piaffe, Taff

Definition of gaffe in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day emulous
Pronunciation: ˈɛmjʊləs
adjective
seeking to emulate someone or something