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

  • n. A clumsy social error; a faux pas: "The excursion had in his eyes been a monstrous gaffe, a breach of sensibility and good taste” ( Mary McCarthy).
  • n. A blatant mistake or misjudgment.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A foolish and embarrassing error, especially one made in public.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A socially awkward or tactless act.

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

  • n. a socially awkward or tactless act


French, from Old French, hook; see gaff1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French gaffe ("blunder"). (Wiktionary)



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  • His mistake is no isolated gaffe.

    October 10, 2010