Definition of oaf in English:



  • A man who is rough or clumsy and unintelligent:

    ‘they are just big, clumsy oafs’
    • ‘I didn't want to get married to a big oaf, so I ran away.’
    • ‘It'd be better than being here with a big oaf who cares nothing about nobody!’
    • ‘Nowadays it is the footballers who behave like oafs off the field, while rugby players act like hooligans on it.’
    • ‘To some, the director-general is an oaf dressed in jester's clothing, a big-mouthed fool with a propensity to put his foot in it.’
    • ‘The second time, he had tripped over something, and Mary had called him ‘a clumsy oaf.’’
    • ‘This idiot and his team of oafs had the audacity to patronize and laugh at Eugene last night.’
    • ‘Much as I would rather sit and stare into space than talk to such oafs, that would have been both rude and a missed opportunity - they were, after all, supposed to be the bee's knees.’
    • ‘But clearly the lumbering oaf thinks they're all trying it on.’
    • ‘Seriously, if a man is a clumsy oaf before you met him, he'll always have that streak of clumsiness.’
    • ‘Our branch contains a fair number of clumsy oafs and we own a hard boat with plenty of deck space for stumbling about.’
    • ‘The oaf in question was met with a barrage of abuse - as we pointed out that we had a baby on board who was scared witless and screaming.’
    • ‘He sighed as well, thinking of the treat he would get if he ever got to apologize to the big oaf.’
    • ‘And he has been nothing but a gentleman compared to the big oaf whose been trying to bully him.’
    • ‘Such a clumsy oaf should never be allowed to dance, much less with such energy.’
    • ‘Rather than let those stereotypes build walls, I wanted to show people that bodybuilders are so much more than just big musclebound oafs to be afraid of.’
    • ‘That is, I am insensitive, brutal, clumsy and a big oaf.’
    • ‘Wasn't there some scrawny woman called Emma, and a big oaf who was in love with her?’
    • ‘‘Yes, and we will make a raft of you big oafs, you and my brother Bolo,’ laughed Nalu.’
    • ‘Those drunken oafs do not deserve the exaggerated respect they receive.’
    • ‘They are big oafs with naught but lust for young maidens like you.’
    lout, boor, barbarian, neanderthal, churl, clown, gawk, hulk, bumpkin, yokel
    fool, dolt, dullard
    idiot, imbecile, halfwit, cretin, ass, jackass, goon, jerk, oik, yahoo, ape, gorilla, baboon, bear, lump, clodhopper, clod, blockhead, meathead, bonehead, chucklehead, knucklehead, lamebrain
    muttonhead, noddy, hobbledehoy
    clot, twit, twonk, numpty, muppet, plonker, berk, prat, pillock, wally, git, wazzock, nerk, dork, yob, yobbo, chav
    nyaff, sumph, gowk, galoot
    bozo, schmuck, boob, lamer, chowderhead, dumbhead, lummox, klutz, putz, schlemiel, gink, cluck, ding-dong, wiener, weeny, dip, spud, coot, palooka, poop, squarehead, hick, goofus, clunk, dingleberry, turkey, stumblebum
    dingbat, alec, galah, nong, bogan, poon, boofhead, drongo, dill
    skate, mompara
    dickhead, fuckwit, fuckhead, shit for brains, dildo
    arsehole, arse, dick, tit, tosser, knobhead
    clodpole, lubber
    View synonyms


Early 17th century: variant of obsolete auf, from Old Norse álfr elf. The original meaning was ‘elf's child, changeling’, later ‘idiot child’ and ‘halfwit’, generalized in the current sense.