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An unintentional act or remark causing embarrassment to its originator; a blunder:‘in my first few months at work I made some real gaffes’‘his comments are a major diplomatic gaffe’
blunder, mistake, error, slipindiscretion, impropriety, breach of etiquette, miscalculation, gaucherie, solecismfaux paslapsus linguae, lapsus calamislip-up, howler, boo-boo, boner, botch, fluff, failboob, bloomer, clangerblooper, bloop, gooffloaterfuck-upView synonyms
- ‘It is said in Washington that a gaffe is when someone slips up and tells the truth.’
- ‘He is disarmingly straightforward about his goofs and gaffes, of which he had plenty during his first go-round.’
- ‘His reluctance to be leader combined with his recent rather embarrassing gaffes has, however, compelled me to examine the alternatives.’
- ‘The incident is the latest in a string of embarrassing security gaffes to affect the software giant.’
- ‘I kept things moving reasonably well and didn't commit any major gaffes or trip over my words too badly.’
- ‘Don't even think about ordering in Spanish or French - a diplomatic gaffe.’
- ‘Several of his major gaffes were simple mistakes of technique, which over time can be corrected.’
- ‘He was forced to resign from the position of transport secretary at the end of May after an 11-month tenure marked by a series of gaffes and blunders.’
- ‘The Cultural Cold War contains some silly mistakes and some real gaffes.’
- ‘Only then, having realised their diplomatic gaffe, did the White House alter its stance.’
- ‘Embarrassment concerns lighter social gaffes and violations of decorous comportment.’
- ‘He was a keen humorist and sometimes it was hard to tell which of his remarks were jokes and which were gaffes.’
- ‘With respect to the film itself, there are many who take pride in highlighting the several goofs and gaffes on display.’
- ‘As in all such debates, the principal goal is to avoid a gaffe which will make embarrassing headlines the next morning.’
- ‘Criticism, missteps and gaffes began to characterize news coverage.’
- ‘She was given to embarrassing conversational gaffes; he could be boorish and argumentative when drunk - which was often.’
- ‘Jubilant children can now go to their chosen schools after education chiefs admitted an embarrassing gaffe.’
- ‘Otherwise it's merely a gaffe, an embarrassment or a row.’
- ‘What they're after is the gaffe or the mistake rather than the analysis of the decision.’
- ‘We all know some of the famous gaffes that have been performed.’
Early 20th century: from French, literally boathook (from Provençal gaf: see gaff), used colloquially to mean blunder.
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