There are 2 definitions of chaff in English:

chaff1

Syllabification: chaff
Pronunciation: /CHaf
 
/

noun

1The husks of corn or other seed separated by winnowing or threshing.
More example sentences
  • Spikes were threshed and florets (hereafter called seeds) separated from chaff by sieving and forced-air separation.
  • The chaff is winnowed out by the activities of millions of independent actions.
  • Then the chaff - the husks and debris - was ‘winnowed’ or blown off the heavier grain with the aid of the wind or with fans.
Synonyms
1.1Chopped hay and straw used as fodder.
More example sentences
  • They each get through six buckets of chaff, hay, bran and molasses a day, plus all the mints, carrots and apples they are given by grateful landlords and landladies on their delivery round.
  • He always had bran, pollard, hay and chaff on hand and would pay the highest prices for dairy produce.
  • I think the real danger if you take them off a balancer or trace element supplement and just feed them chaff or local stuff then they can become short of breath.
1.2Worthless things; trash.
More example sentences
  • His article crosses the line from constructive and thoughtful criticism to contrarian polemic, the net effect being a dilution of truly worthwhile lessons at the expense of extraneous chaff.
  • Which is a shame because strip away the chaff and you will find an interesting, diverse artist who has produced an impressive body of work.
  • Most morality and the things which provoke the ‘Angry of Tunbridge Wells’ letters are all just chaff when compared to the real things which have been sorted out and the things which do need sorting out in the world.
Synonyms
garbage, dross, rubbish, trash
informal junk, schlock
vulgar slang crap
1.3Strips of metal foil or metal filings released in the atmosphere from aircraft, or deployed as missiles, to obstruct radar detection or confuse radar-tracking missiles.
More example sentences
  • The countermeasures system includes a pilot illumination radar warning receiver, chaff and infrared decoy dispensers, and an active multi-mode jammer located in the wingtip pods.
  • For operational roles, the aircraft is fitted with a radar warning receiver, chaff and flares dispensers, and active electronic countermeasures.
  • DAG will include missile warning system, radar warning receiver, towed radar decoy and chaff and flare dispensers.

Origin

Old English cæf, ceaf, probably from a Germanic base meaning 'gnaw'; related to Dutch kaf, also to chafer.

Phrases

separate the wheat from the chaff

Distinguish valuable people or things from worthless ones.
More example sentences
  • Certainly a ringtone reduces pop songs down to their barest essentials and in doing so sorts the wheat from the chaff.
  • The betting market promises to be the best guide to sorting the wheat from the chaff in the first two-year-old race of the season, the Ballyhane Stud Brocklesby Stakes.
  • The problem comes in sorting the wheat from the chaff, and you or I can only try to assess the performance of our local authority planning department.

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Word of the day setose
Pronunciation: ˈsēˌtōs
adjective
bearing bristles or setae; bristly

There are 2 definitions of chaff in English:

chaff2

Syllabification: chaff
Pronunciation: /
 
CHaf/

noun

Lighthearted joking; banter.
More example sentences
  • Made us roar in the mess, though I've had to put up with a certain amount of good-natured chaff about having a father who reads the Guardian, let alone writes for it!
  • Every one had a hearty welcome for my people, and some good-natured chaff about their having "buried themselves" so long.
  • The air was full of good-natured chaff and badinage between persons who had never seen each other before and never expected to again.
Synonyms
banter, repartee, teasing, ragging, joking, jesting, raillery, badinage, wisecracks, witticism(s)
informal kidding, ribbing
formal persiflage

verb

[with object] Back to top  
Tease.
More example sentences
  • Manda had a feeling he enjoyed chaffing Michael and making his life miserable, but she had no idea why.
  • It seemed the whole city was en fate as rival supporters with all manner of blue-and-white manifestations chaffed one another good-humoredly and cheered loudly.
  • Still they laughed and called to each other at the joy of returning home, and chaffed one another in loud voices.
Synonyms
tease, make fun of, poke fun at, make sport of
informal rib, razz, kid, josh, have on, pull someone's leg, pull/jerk/yank someone's chain, goof on

Origin

early 19th century: perhaps from chafe.

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