Main definitions of chaff in English

: chaff1chaff2

chaff1

Pronunciation /tʃɑːf//tʃaf/

noun

mass noun
  • 1The husks of corn or other seed separated by winnowing or threshing.

    • ‘Green stems and leaves add moisture to the threshed grain and prevent clean separation of the grain and chaff.’
    • ‘For example, look at something like a winnowing machine which separates the corn from the chaff.’
    • ‘Then the chaff - the husks and debris - was ‘winnowed’ or blown off the heavier grain with the aid of the wind or with fans.’
    • ‘The seeds sprinkle out while the chaff and larger debris remain in the cup and can be discarded.’
    • ‘Spikes were threshed and florets (hereafter called seeds) separated from chaff by sieving and forced-air separation.’
    • ‘The village girls spit out the chaff as they winnow with wooden forks and sing about their dowry jewels.’
    • ‘A person in clean moccasins then ‘danced the rice’ treading on it to remove the hull and then tossing it into the air to winnow the chaff.’
    • ‘The chaff is winnowed out by the activities of millions of independent actions.’
    • ‘In the process of making fine mealie-meal, Maize that is washed clean is put aside, while coarse Bran chaff is separated out.’
    • ‘They modified farm equipment designed to separate chaff from wheat and used it to remove paper labels from the mix.’
    • ‘He would sometime be given a job bagging and clearing chaff on a threshing day.’
    • ‘To keep the radiator from plugging up with seeds and chaff, we wrapped it and the grill with window screen.’
    • ‘The mixture of grain, chaff and husks is placed on a flat or shallow basket and held shoulder high.’
    • ‘If there are weed seeds, weed debris, chaff or non-grain material, clean the grain before putting it into the bins.’
    • ‘They processed the grain there using a threshing sled to separate the stalks or chaff from the grain.’
    husks, hulls, bran, pods, seed cases, shells, capsules, sheaths
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Chopped hay and straw used as fodder.
      • ‘They each get through six buckets of chaff, hay, bran and molasses a day, plus all the mints, carrots and apples they are given by grateful landlords and landladies on their delivery round.’
      • ‘He always had bran, pollard, hay and chaff on hand and would pay the highest prices for dairy produce.’
      • ‘It is said that only in the No.1 Food Store can people buy chaff.’
      • ‘At its side you could see a cow munching on a pile of chaff.’
      • ‘I think the real danger if you take them off a balancer or trace element supplement and just feed them chaff or local stuff then they can become short of breath.’
  • 2Worthless things; rubbish.

    ‘he hopes to separate scientifically supported claims from pseudoscientific chaff’
    • ‘Learn to listen out for instinct, to separate it from the usual mental chaff, that bit of info, chant, incantation, poem that downloads itself into yer head aint easy.’
    • ‘The Fraser Inquiry will ascribe blame for technical mishaps and bureaucratic incompetence, but history will judge all that mere chaff.’
    • ‘Kylie ruled… but Hear'Say and Westlife's manufactured chaff made the charts less relevant than ever.’
    • ‘However, there's a hell of a lot of chaff to go through as well.’
    • ‘Mohamed searches out quality (most of his list costs north of £20 a bottle), but there is simply no chaff.’
    • ‘In this case, the presiding judge cut through the legal chaff and ruled that the request for information was reasonable.’
    • ‘Most morality and the things which provoke the ‘Angry of Tunbridge Wells’ letters are all just chaff when compared to the real things which have been sorted out and the things which do need sorting out in the world.’
    • ‘These are no doubt important and significant issues that need to be considered, but let us cast them aside as so much chaff.’
    • ‘German, rather bravely, had agreed to defend George Galloway against somebody who was sufficiently well informed to cut through his evasive chaff, and came out of the experience somewhat dazed and confused.’
    • ‘It takes an incisive professional to cut through all this self-indulgent chaff to bring you the priceless kernel of truth, so here goes…’
    • ‘One name, however, stands out among the free-agent chaff - Derian Hatcher, defenseman for the Dallas Stars.’
    • ‘His article crosses the line from constructive and thoughtful criticism to contrarian polemic, the net effect being a dilution of truly worthwhile lessons at the expense of extraneous chaff.’
    • ‘So, today, I had a thunderstruck few minutes when I entered the bookshop, comprehending just how much chaff has been created by Dan Brown's bloody book.’
    • ‘The irony is that, in editing, one has to lie to tell the truth, otherwise the audience would die of boredom or the truth would be smothered under a mountain of chaff.’
    • ‘Words, words, words: we have so many words, and they are chaff, but where is THE WORD that in the beginning was God and was with God?’
    • ‘Yes, there's still a lot of chaff out there, and it's the reader's responsibility to sift and choose.’
    • ‘Which is a shame because strip away the chaff and you will find an interesting, diverse artist who has produced an impressive body of work.’
    • ‘They're the reason we have 98% chaff on the shelves.’
    • ‘I want to tell my children and my grandchildren that their parents and grandparents were neither super-men nor human chaff.’
    • ‘I'm one of you, folks - I've been there, but you must truly be careful and expose chaff where it exists.’
    rubbish, refuse, waste, garbage, litter, discarded matter, debris, detritus, scrap, dross
    View synonyms
  • 3Strips of metal foil released in the air to obstruct radar detection.

    • ‘The countermeasures system can dispense chaff cartridges and infrared flares and the POET and GEN-X active expendable decoys.’
    • ‘M - 1 Tank Your first order when fighting this thing is to jam its sensors with a chaff grenade.’
    • ‘To further thwart engagement, a LACM could employ relatively simple countermeasures such as chaff and decoys.’
    • ‘The electronic warfare systems include a radar warning receiver and automatic or manually operated chaff and flare dispensers.’
    • ‘Navy procedures for limiting the use of essential training equipment such as chaff, flares, and radar-warning gear to only fleet assigned aircraft and those working up for sea duty was also identified as a problem.’
    • ‘Initially, we flew pure chaff missions where instead of bombs we were loaded with boxes and boxes of chaff that we dumped while circling over the target before the bombers got there.’
    • ‘A reduced Doppler shift also enhances the effectiveness of chaff and decoys, which should allow the aircraft to break lock and hide in ground clutter.’
    • ‘‘We monitor and maintain electrical systems, ejection seats, launch and recovery systems and load chaff,’ CPL Rock said.’
    • ‘It holds 160 chaff / flare packages, up to five times more than conventional dispensers.’
    • ‘The ship is equipped with four chaff launch systems and the Ajanta radar interceptor developed by Bharat Electronics Limited of Bangalore.’
    • ‘The radar works well, Hayes said, through multifaceted conditions, including inconsistent terrain, heavy rain, migrating birds, glaciers and chaff.’
    • ‘DAG will include missile warning system, radar warning receiver, towed radar decoy and chaff and flare dispensers.’
    • ‘The countermeasures system includes a pilot illumination radar warning receiver, chaff and infrared decoy dispensers, and an active multi-mode jammer located in the wingtip pods.’
    • ‘He put two frag grenades, two smoke grenades and two chaff grenades into their respective compartments.’
    • ‘The one in the D seat handles the airplane's defensive systems, responsible for electronic counter-jamming of enemy radars trying to lock onto the bomber and punching chaff or flares if an enemy gets a shot off at them.’
    • ‘Various antennas related to the mission sprouted from the fuselage while four wing pylons held other related equipment such as chaff dispensers and noise jammers.’
    • ‘Initially the second Exocet's radar locked onto the Invincible; however, large amounts of chaff caused it to break lock.’
    • ‘For operational roles, the aircraft is fitted with a radar warning receiver, chaff and flares dispensers, and active electronic countermeasures.’
    • ‘Radar sensitive chaff (mica and silica) in the chemical mixture permits tracking of chemical agent dispersal patterns in the atmosphere.’
    • ‘Each launcher has six launch tubes and is capable of firing illuminating rounds or chaff rounds to counter hostile radars and radar guided missiles.’

Phrases

  • separate (or sort) the wheat from the chaff

    • Distinguish valuable people or things from worthless ones.

      • ‘There's more of everything, a plethora of competing versions vying for the user's attention and, to cap it all, the web is so jam-packed with information that it's getting harder by the day to sort the wheat from the chaff.’
      • ‘The betting market promises to be the best guide to sorting the wheat from the chaff in the first two-year-old race of the season, the Ballyhane Stud Brocklesby Stakes.’
      • ‘The market will have to sort the wheat from the chaff.’
      • ‘The problem comes in sorting the wheat from the chaff, and you or I can only try to assess the performance of our local authority planning department.’
      • ‘Certainly a ringtone reduces pop songs down to their barest essentials and in doing so sorts the wheat from the chaff.’
      • ‘Doing this will sort the wheat from the chaff and will save time, effort and tears.’
      • ‘It took over an hour to sort the wheat from the chaff - and that was just going through the subject lines to pick out the usual suspects.’
      • ‘I sat down one no-doubt-procrastinatory afternoon and sorted the wheat from the chaff.’
      • ‘Perhaps that might help to sort the wheat from the chaff.’
      • ‘There are lots of tributes out there and the crowds soon learn to sort the wheat from the chaff.’

Origin

Old English cæf, ceaf, probably from a Germanic base meaning ‘gnaw’; related to Dutch kaf, also to chafer.

Pronunciation

chaff

/tʃɑːf//tʃaf/

Main definitions of chaff in English

: chaff1chaff2

chaff2

Pronunciation /tʃɑːf//tʃaf/

noun

mass noun
  • Light-hearted joking; banter.

    ‘we used to come in for a fair amount of ribbing and good-natured chaff’
    • ‘The air was full of good-natured chaff and badinage between persons who had never seen each other before and never expected to again.’
    • ‘Every one had a hearty welcome for my people, and some good-natured chaff about their having "buried themselves" so long.’
    • ‘Made us roar in the mess, though I've had to put up with a certain amount of good-natured chaff about having a father who reads the Guardian, let alone writes for it!’
    banter, repartee, raillery, ripostes, sallies, quips, wisecracks, crosstalk, wordplay, teasing, ragging
    View synonyms

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Tease.

    ‘the pleasures of drinking and betting and chaffing your mates’
    • ‘It seemed the whole city was en fate as rival supporters with all manner of blue-and-white manifestations chaffed one another good-humoredly and cheered loudly.’
    • ‘But if you opened his inside (…), you cannot imagine how full he is, good companions, of sobriety… [He] spends his life in chaffing and making game of his fellow-men.’
    • ‘Manda had a feeling he enjoyed chaffing Michael and making his life miserable, but she had no idea why.’
    • ‘Still they laughed and called to each other at the joy of returning home, and chaffed one another in loud voices.’
    tease, make fun of, poke fun at, rag, mock, laugh at, guy
    View synonyms

Origin

Early 19th century: perhaps from chafe.

Pronunciation

chaff

/tʃɑːf//tʃaf/