Definitions

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

  • n. Any of various beetles of the family Scarabaeidae, such as the cockchafer.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several scarab beetles, including the cockchafer, leaf chafer and rose chafer

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who chafes.
  • n. A vessel for heating water; -- hence, a dish or pan.
  • n. A kind of beetle; the cockchafer. The name is also applied to other species.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A name commonly given to several species of lamellicorn beetles, Scarabæidæ
  • n. One who or that which chafes.
  • n. A vessel for heating water, food, etc.; a chafing-dish.
  • n. Hence Any dish or pan.
  • n. A small portable furnace; a chauffer. E. H. Knight. Also chaffer.

Etymologies

Middle English, a kind of beetle, from Old English ceafor.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Cognate with German Käfer (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I believe, in contradiction to most etymologists, that the Egyptian scarab, chepera, is our word chafer, French cafard, and possibly Italian scarafaggio.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol III No 3

  • There are 196 species of butterflies (49% of Kwazulu-Natal species), 52 species of dragonflies (23% of South African species), 139 species of dung-beetles, 27 species of hole-nesting wasps, 64 species of biting flies (64% of South African tabanids), 58 species of chafer beetles (cetonids) and 41 species of land snails.

    Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, South Africa

  • The small remaining areas of coastal tussocks, such as Poa astonii, provide habitat for several species with limited distributions including an endemic chafer beetle, Prodontria praelatella.

    Southland temperate forests

  • Onions repel aphids, rose chafer beetle and carrot flies, weevils, moles, fruit tree borers it controls rust flies and some nematodes and especially protects tomatoes against red spiders.

    Organic Gardening: Companion Planting

  • He let it in, caught it, and it turned out to be a common rose chafer—a beetle closely resembling a golden scarab.

    ENTANGLED MINDS

  • I was much pleased to get here the fine long-armed chafer, Euchirus longimanus.

    The Malay Archipelago

  • Love them, though, that she could! — and she hugged Peterle to her great bosom, which — NICHT WAHR, MEINE LIEBEN? — they would have judged able to nourish the dozen of which she dreamed; whereas, if they could credit it, for her treasure, her well-beloved little cock-chafer, it had yielded not so much as a mouthful.

    Two Tales of Old Strasbourg

  • Flying insects have absolutely no tail, and so drift along like a rudderless vessel, and beat against anything they happen upon; and this applies equally to sharded insects, like the scarab-beetle and the chafer, and to unsharded, like bees and wasps.

    On the Gait of Animals

  • He was about to set off, when the old Indian medicine man came up to him; he had a wondrous salve, he said, prepared from a species of chafer whose odor was intolerable to ants.

    The Greatest Survival Stories Ever Told

  • Mount up there, my little gilded cock-chafer; take hold of this rope's end in your hand.

    The Wasps

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