Definition of chafe in English:

chafe

Line breaks: chafe
Pronunciation: /tʃeɪf
 
/

verb

  • 1(With reference to a part of the body) make or become sore by rubbing against something: [with object]: the collar chafed his neck [no object]: her arms chafed where the rope bit into them
    More example sentences
    • Her hands were bound together by a painfully tight rope, chafing badly at her wrists.
    • Oddly enough, though the wounds haven't bothered him in years, Jonnie is abruptly aware that his shirt collar is chafing at the rough scar tissue left over from that old attack.
    • All of us had worn sheaths of kid-leather on the arm that held the bow when we began to learn archery in our childhood; otherwise, the string would have horribly chafed our delicate skins.
  • 1.1 [no object] (Of an object) rub abrasively against another: the grommet stops the cable chafing on the metal
    More example sentences
    • A wiring bundle chafing against a fuel line eventually wore through the line and sprayed fuel on a hot bleed-air element.
    • Check for upper radiator hose wear as it sits near an engine-mounting bolt and can chafe.
    • There was absolutely no evidence of chafing, wear or any damage to it.
  • 2 [with object] Rub (a part of the body) to restore warmth or sensation: I chafed her feet and wrapped the blanket round her
    More example sentences
    • A shiver passed through Darius, and he began to chafe his arms to push some warmth back into them.
    • Reaching the sitting area, he grinned at Jake and flopped into another chair, chafing his hands to get a modicum of feeling back into them.
    • There they go round the fire, rubbing and chafing their hands to keep the blood in circulation, and almost fighting each other to see which shall sit on the fire and get warm.
    Synonyms
    rub, warm, warm up
  • 3Become or make annoyed or impatient because of a restriction or inconvenience: [no object]: the bank chafed at the restrictions imposed upon it [with object]: it chafed him to be confined like this
    More example sentences
    • They are a great way to bring everyone up to a dismal, but passable, level of performance, but at the same time, they are aggravating to more talented people who chafe at the restrictions that are placed on them.
    • Bonham Carter shows us an Olivia who is feisty and strong, chafing at her restrictions and only too happy to entertain the amusing Cesario.
    • The last two, in particular, chafed at the restrictions of religious orthodoxy, but like Galileo after them, chose to live and continue their researches in preference to martyrdom.
    Synonyms
    be impatient, be angry, be annoyed, be irritated, be incensed, be exasperated, be frustrated; fume, brood, fuss, upset oneself

noun

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  • 1 [mass noun] Wear or damage caused by rubbing: to prevent chafe the ropes should lie flat
    More example sentences
    • Also, check your main reef lines to prevent chafe to the sailcloth that may be pinched between the line and the boom.
    • Instead, I have put just a little vaseline on to prevent chafe before really long runs.
    • Chafe can be a problem around the upper thighs particularly in hot climates and on rough roads but this can be reduced by using petroleum jelly and has not generally been a significant problem.
  • 2 archaic A state of annoyance: into what an unprofitable chafe you have put yourself!
    More example sentences
    • No: I could not but smile through my chafe: For the fellow lay safe As his mates do, the midge and the nit, ---Through minuteness, to wit. ...
    • Look, prithee, Charmian, How this herculean Roman does become the carriage of his chafe.
    • Y'all disenfranchise and marginalize the black man and you expect him to bear his chafe?

Phrases

chafe at the bit

Origin

late Middle English (in the sense 'make warm'): from Old French chaufer 'make hot', based on Latin calefacere, from calere 'be hot' + facere 'make'.

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