- An unintentional act or remark causing embarrassment to its originator; a blunder: in my first few months at work I made some real gaffes his comments are a major diplomatic gaffeMore example sentences
blunder, mistake, error, slip; indiscretion, impropriety, breach of etiquette, miscalculation, gaucherie, solecism; French faux pas; Latin lapsus linguae, lapsus calamiBritish • informal , • dated floater• vulgar slang fuck-up
- 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.
early 20th century: from French, literally 'boathook' (from Provençal gaf: see gaff1), used colloquially to mean 'blunder'.