Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Scraps or bits of paper, such as the perforated edges of paper for tractor feed printers or the tiny rectangles punched out from data cards.
  • noun One of these scraps or bits of paper.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A dry twig: same as chat.
  • noun Dry, bushy fragments found among food. [Prov. Eng. in both senses, usually in plural.]
  • noun An obsolete form of shad. The name in Cornwall, England, of the young of the common sea-bream, Pagellus centrodontus.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete See shad.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun uncountable Small pieces of paper punched out from the edges of continuous stationery, punched cards, paper tape etc.
  • noun countable One of these pieces of paper.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a lake in north central Africa; fed by the Shari river
  • noun a family of Afroasiatic tonal languages (mostly two tones) spoken in the regions west and south of Lake Chad in north central Africa
  • noun a small piece of paper that is supposed to be removed when a hole is punched in a card or paper tape
  • noun a landlocked desert republic in north-central Africa; was under French control until 1960

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Origin unknown.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Uncertain; predates the Chadless punch (see the Snopes article on this supposed origin); possibly from Scots chad, "river gravel", or the English slang term chat, "louse".

Examples

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