Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To wear away or irritate by rubbing or friction.
  • intransitive verb To annoy; vex.
  • intransitive verb To warm by rubbing, as with the hands.
  • intransitive verb To cause irritation by rubbing or friction.
  • intransitive verb To become worn or sore from rubbing or friction.
  • intransitive verb To feel irritated or impatient.
  • noun Warmth, wear, or soreness produced by friction.
  • noun Annoyance; vexation.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Heat excited by friction.
  • noun An irritated mental condition arising from continued provocation or annoyance; heated impatience or anger, especially under restraint or a sense of injury; a fretful tendency or state; vexation.
  • To heat; make warm.
  • To excite heat in or make warm by friction; stimulate to warmth by rubbing, as with the hands: as, to chafe the limbs.
  • To fret and wear by friction; abrade; especially, abrade (the skin) by rubbing; make sore by rubbing; gall: as, the coarse garments chafed his skin.
  • To irritate; annoy; vex; gall; make angry.
  • To stimulate, as by pungent odors; perfume. [Rare.]
  • To animate; revive; inspirit; encourage.
  • Synonyms 3. To rub, wear.
  • To gall, vex, irritate, heat, ruffle, exasperate.
  • To be or become heated.
  • To be fretted and worn by rubbing: as, the cable chafed against a rock.
  • To be irritated or annoyed; fret; fume.
  • To be in violent agitation; rage or boil; dash, as in anger; fret.

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

  • transitive verb To excite heat in by friction; to rub in order to stimulate and make warm.
  • transitive verb To excite passion or anger in; to fret; to irritate.
  • transitive verb To fret and wear by rubbing.
  • noun Heat excited by friction.
  • noun Injury or wear caused by friction.
  • noun Vexation; irritation of mind; rage.
  • intransitive verb To rub; to come together so as to wear by rubbing; to wear by friction.
  • intransitive verb To be worn by rubbing.
  • intransitive verb To have a feeling of vexation; to be vexed; to fret; to be irritated.

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

  • noun Heat excited by friction.
  • noun Injury or wear caused by friction.
  • noun Vexation; irritation of mind; rage.
  • verb transitive To excite heat in by friction; to rub in order to stimulate and make warm.
  • verb transitive To excite passion or anger in; to fret; to irritate.
  • verb transitive To fret and wear by rubbing; as, to chafe a cable.
  • verb intransitive To rub; to come together so as to wear by rubbing; to wear by friction.
  • verb intransitive To be worn by rubbing; as, a cable chafes.
  • verb intransitive To have a feeling of vexation; to be vexed; to fret; to be irritated.

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

  • verb cause annoyance in; disturb, especially by minor irritations
  • noun anger produced by some annoying irritation
  • verb cause friction
  • verb warm by rubbing, as with the hands
  • verb become or make sore by or as if by rubbing
  • verb tear or wear off the skin or make sore by abrading
  • verb feel extreme irritation or anger
  • noun soreness and warmth caused by friction

Etymologies

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

[Middle English chafen, from Old French chaufer, to warm, from Vulgar Latin *calefāre, alteration of Latin calefacere : calēre, to be warm; see kelə- in Indo-European roots + facere, to make; see dhē- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English chaufen ("to warm"), from Old French chaufer (modern French chauffer), from Latin calefacere, calfacere ("to make warm"), from calere ("to be warm") + facere ("to make"). See caldron.

Examples

  • A recent entry describes relentless attacks from what he calls the "chafe monster."

    Going the Distance to Help Fight a Rare Blood Cancer

  • Among poor blacks worldwide, who may chafe from the legacy of colonial churches brought by white missionaries, Pentecostalism offers a theology that is more emotionally and experientially based and a liturgy that accommodates local rites, rituals, and traditions.

    The Preacher

  • Among poor blacks worldwide, who may chafe from the legacy of colonial churches brought by white missionaries, Pentecostalism offers a theology that is more emotionally and experientially based and a liturgy that accommodates local rites, rituals, and traditions.

    The Preacher

  • (Lord ARTHUR and I frequently do not speak for a week unless someone is present) -- but I do not think these things should be made public, and besides, it is an unwritten law amongst "smart" people to avoid subjects that "chafe" -- which sounds like an anachronism -- whatever that means!

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 102, June 4, 1892

  • Was Bertram already beginning to "chafe" under these new bonds that held him?

    Miss Billy -- Married

  • Was Bertram already beginning to "chafe" under these new bonds that held him?

    Miss Billy — Married

  • And even the Twins kind of chafe me, when I consider that it is WE that deserved Joe Mauer and THEY what deserved Mark Prior.

    GoatRiders of the Apocalypse

  • "chafe," as Drake says of him, "like a bear robbed of her whelps."

    Westward Ho!, or, the voyages and adventures of Sir Amyas Leigh, Knight, of Burrough, in the county of Devon, in the reign of her most glorious majesty Queen Elizabeth

  • Furthermore, the White House was not directing hostage strategy anymore; the Iranians seemed to chafe at everything associated with Carter, and we had turned the negotiations over to Warren Christopher at the State Department.

    The Good Fight

  • Furthermore, the White House was not directing hostage strategy anymore; the Iranians seemed to chafe at everything associated with Carter, and we had turned the negotiations over to Warren Christopher at the State Department.

    The Good Fight

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • oh this is a horrible word!

    July 30, 2008

  • Mostly, yes. But not always. Sometimes one can find delicious tasty morsels in a chafing dish.

    July 30, 2008

  • Yeah, onegoodbee! It really chafes my ass!

    July 30, 2008

  • Here, have a cockchafer.

    July 30, 2008

  • Uhh... okay. *wonders what to do with it*

    July 30, 2008

  • C_B's comment reminded me of the Sheriff of Rottingham's immortal line in Robin Hood; Men in Tights, when, on encountering Marian's chastity belt, he exclaims, "That's really going to chafe my willie."

    July 31, 2008

  • (psst... skipvia, I think you're missing some words in your comment that, oddly, appear on the front page.)

    July 31, 2008

  • The html in the link is borked.

    July 31, 2008

  • Skip, hope you don't mind, I deborked it.

    July 31, 2008

  • Borked stuff really chafes my ass.

    July 31, 2008