Find the word definition

Crossword clues for chaff

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
separate the wheat from the chaff
▪ A surprising chaff inch flew down to peck at our crumbs.
▪ But Pavelic said experienced detectives can quickly separate the wheat from the chaff.
▪ Conscientious voters will take advantage of every opportunity to sort the electoral wheat from the chaff.
▪ False scripts were written that disturbed the tabloids' radar like metallic chaff.
▪ He thrust his hand into the stack of chaff up to the elbow without feeling a thing.
▪ In two rounds of sprinting heats on the previous day, the wheat had been sorted from the chaff.
▪ My first job was pulling away colder, and carting chaff.
▪ This would blow the chaff away.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Chaff \Chaff\, v. t. To make fun of; to turn into ridicule by addressing in ironical or bantering language; to quiz.

Morgan saw that his master was chaffing him.

A dozen honest fellows . . . chaffed each other about their sweethearts.
--C. Kingsley.


Chaff \Chaff\, n. [AC. ceaf; akin to D. kaf, G. kaff.]

  1. The glumes or husks of grains and grasses separated from the seed by threshing and winnowing, etc.

    So take the corn and leave the chaff behind.

    Old birds are not caught with caff.
    --Old Proverb.

  2. Anything of a comparatively light and worthless character; the refuse part of anything.

    The chaff and ruin of the times.

  3. Straw or hay cut up fine for the food of cattle.

    By adding chaff to his corn, the horse must take more time to eat it. In this way chaff is very useful.

  4. Light jesting talk; banter; raillery.

  5. (Bot.) The scales or bracts on the receptacle, which subtend each flower in the heads of many Composit[ae], as the sunflower.

    Chaff cutter, a machine for cutting, up straw, etc., into ``chaff'' for the use of cattle.


Chaff \Chaff\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Chaffed; p. pr. & vb. n. Chaffing.] To use light, idle language by way of fun or ridicule; to banter.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"husks," Old English ceaf "chaff," probably from Proto-Germanic *kaf- "to gnaw, chew" (cognates: Middle Dutch and Dutch kaf, German Kaff), from PIE root *gep(h)- "jaw, mouth" (see jowl (n.1)). Used figuratively for "worthless material" from late 14c.


n. 1 The inedible parts of a grain-producing plant. 2 By extension, any excess or unwanted material, resource, or person; anything worthless. 3 Loose material dropped from aircraft specifically to interfere with radar detection. 4 Straw or hay cut up fine for the food of cattle. 5 Light jesting talk; banter; raillery. vb. 1 (context intransitive English) To use light, idle language by way of fun or ridicule; to banter. 2 (context transitive English) To make fun of; to turn into ridicule by addressing in ironical or bantering language; to quiz.

  1. n. material consisting of seed coverings and small pieces of stem or leaves that have been separated from the seeds [syn: husk, shuck, stalk, straw, stubble]

  2. foil in thin strips; ejected into the air as a radar countermeasure

  3. v. be silly or tease one another; "After we relaxed, we just kidded around" [syn: kid, jolly, josh, banter]


Chaff ( or ) is the dry, scaly protective casings of the seeds of cereal grain, or similar fine, dry, scaly plant material such as scaly parts of flowers, or finely chopped straw. Chaff is indigestible by humans, but livestock can eat it and in agriculture it is used as livestock fodder, or is a waste material ploughed into the soil or burnt.

Chaff (countermeasure)

Chaff, originally called Window by the British, and Düppel by the Second World War era German Luftwaffe (from the Berlin suburb where it was first developed), is a radar countermeasure in which aircraft or other targets spread a cloud of small, thin pieces of aluminium, metallized glass fibre or plastic, which either appears as a cluster of primary targets on radar screens or swamps the screen with multiple returns.

Modern armed forces use chaff (in naval applications, for instance, using short-range SRBOC rockets) to distract radar-guided missiles from their targets. Most military aircraft and warships have chaff dispensing systems for self-defense. An intercontinental ballistic missile may release in its midcourse phase several independent warheads as well as penetration aids such as decoy balloons and chaff.

Chaff (disambiguation)

Chaff is dry inedible plant material.

Chaff may also refer to:

  • Chaff (countermeasure), a cloud of pieces of foil or similar to counter radar
  • Chaff algorithm, an algorithm for solving instances of the boolean satisfiability problem
  • Chaffing and winnowing, a method in cryptography to protect a message without encryption
Chaff (newspaper)

Chaff was the students' newspaper of Massey University Students' Association (MUSA) at the Turitea campus of Massey University, New Zealand. Chaff was established in 1934 as a semi-regular, type-written newsletter for students of Massey Agricultural College. As throughout its 79-year run it mixed local news with comment, humour, competitions and correspondence.

After 15 years of erratic publication (partially due to reduced student numbers during World War II), the paper roared fully into life in 1959, thanks to the efforts of student Kevin. F. O'Connor. This professionally printed, regularly produced A4 magazine (1949-1955)/A3 newspaper (1955-), supported by outside advertising and grants from the Massey Student Association, continued until a combination of factors - including administrative disinterest and major legislative changes to Association funding - meant Chaff published its last issue in October 2011.

It has been replaced with MASSIVE Magazine, based in Wellington and published monthly, with 2-3 pages each per issue given to news and events on the Palmerston North and Albany Massey campuses.

Usage examples of "chaff".

The steps were complex and there was a lot of good-humored chaffing as Alec jostled to and fro between Beka and Elsbet.

They were chaffing her bawdily, one fumbling after her breasts, as the great wooden wheels rumbled by.

There are bruises on his neck and arms from the pressure of the restraining straps during his high-g maneuvers, the result of a 200-mile drag race with the Nebraska heat that ended with one chopper forced down in a cornfield and a coleopter that seems to have sucked a bale of aluminum chaff into an intake and had to stagger home on one engine.

There was no end of speculation and chaff around the camp-fires, therefore, early in the summer, when Devers, most unwillingly, it was said, was hauled in from some outlying post where he had nothing to do but hunt, eat, and sleep, and reported for duty on what turned out to be the toughest of Indian campaigns.

But, instead of completing the turn, he turned back toward the other contact while simultaneously ejecting his own mass of chaff and flares.

They whirled and beat, lashing hair and garments, pelting the Farers with leaves and twigs and heads of broken grain, chaff to sting and blind the eyes.

Chaff watched as it sailed out of the cove, followed by the slugging hogger with its cargo of wounded and dejected men.

I had to ride backwards, I was compelled to face a gang of roughs in a donkey-cart, whom Lupin had chaffed, and who turned and followed us for nearly a mile, bellowing, indulging in coarse jokes and laughter, to say nothing of occasionally pelting us with orange-peel.

Commando Nek on the Little Crocodile River, where he summoned Baden-Powell to surrender, and received some chaff in reply from that light-hearted commander.

He braved the gay and guileless laugh Of children with their nusses, The loud uneducated chaff Of clerks on omnibuses.

Threshing consists in beating the ears with thick sticks to loosen the husks, after which the padi is carried in baskets to platforms ten feet above the ground, and is allowed to fall on mats, when the chaff is driven away by the wind.

Chaff could have said would have prepared Kelber for the tremendous upsoaring of his spirit.

The Mig broke hard to the left as the Hellfire left the outboard pylon and accelerated to just under Mach 1 Manesh put the craft in a vertical climb and began dispensing flares and chaff.

If it were so, that the father or the goodman of the house had a matrass or flock-bed, and thereto a sack of chaff to rest his head upon, he thought himself to be as well lodged as the lord of the town, so well were they contented.

The panzer emerges into a clearing, where a metal maintenance shack rusts on its slab of concrete, and in that brief moment Cowboy fires a chaff rocket straight up and dives among the alloy trees once more.