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gaffe

Definition:

a socially awkward or tactless act

Class:

act noun (acts and actions)

Plural:

gaffes

Original source:

Princeton WordNet

Synonyms:

faux pas [French] | gaff | gaucherie | slip | solecism

Etymology:

"blunder", perhaps from French gaffe "clumsy remark", originally "boat hook",...
(Source: Online Etymology)  [more]

Definition references  (+images)

Wikipedia:

Error

entails different meanings and usages relative to how it's conceptually applied. The concrete meaning of the Latin word "error" is "wandering" or "straying". Unlike an illusion, an error or a mistake can sometimes be dispelled through knowledge. For ... (38 of 2046 words, 5 images)

en​.wikipedia​.org​/wiki​/Error

Collins Dictionary:

gaffe

a social blunder, especially a tactless remark (7 of 480 words, 10 usage examples, pronunciation)

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/gaffe

Merriam-Webster:

gaffe | familiarity [synonym, sense-specific] | faux pas [synonym, sense-specific] | gaff [synonym, sense-specific] | impropriety [synonym, sense-specific] | indiscretion [synonym, sense-specific] | solecism [synonym, sense-specific] | amenity [antonym, sense-specific] | attention [antonym, sense-specific] | ...

a social or diplomatic blunder | a noticeable mistake (8 of 118 words, 2 definitions, 1 usage example, pronunciation)

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/gaffe

Oxford Dictionary:

gaffe

an unintentional act or remark causing embarrassment to its originator; a blunder (12 of 75 words, 2 usage examples, pronunciation)

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/gaffe

Cambridge Dictionary:

gaffe

a remark or action that is a social mistake and not considered polite; faux pas (15 of 55 words, 2 usage examples, pronunciation)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/gaffe

American Heritage Dictionary:

gaffe | gaff [sense-specific]

A clumsy social error; a faux pas | A blatant mistake or misjudgment. (12 of 45 words, 2 definitions, 1 usage example, pronunciation)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/gaffe

Macmillan British Dictionary:

gaffe [countable] | gaffes [plural]

an embarrassing mistake that you make in public, especially one that offends or upsets someone (15 of 40 words, pronunciation)

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/gaffe

Wiktionary:

gaffe | gaffes [plural] | gaff | blooper [synonym] | blunder [synonym] | boo-boo [synonym] | defect [synonym] | error [synonym] | fault [synonym] | ...

A foolish and embarrassing error, especially one made in public. (10 of 16 words, pronunciation)

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/gaffe

New World Dictionary:

gaffe

a blunder; faux pas (4 of 13 words, pronunciation)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/gaffe

Random House Dictionary:

gaffe

a social blunder; faux pas. (5 of 10 words, pronunciation)

dictionary​.infoplease​.com​/gaffe

Britannica Encyclopedia:

slip [crystals]

in engineering and physics, sliding displacement along a plane of one part of a crystal relative to the rest of the crystal under the action of ... (26 of 205 words)

www​.britannica​.com​/E​Bchecked​/topic​/548788​/slip

Encarta Dictionary:

gaffe | gaffes [plural] | gaff: gaffs [plural] | gaffs [plural] | gaff

a clumsy social mistake or breach of etiquette, e.g. an insensitive remark (12 of 44 words, pronunciations)

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861614099​/definition​.html  [offline]

Etymology references

Online Etymology:

gaffe

First use: 1909

Origin: "blunder", perhaps from French gaffe "clumsy remark", originally "boat hook", from Middle French gaffe (15th century), from Old ... (19 of 68 etymology words)

www​.etymonline​.com​/index​.php term=gaffe

Oxford Dictionary:

gaffe

First use: early 20th century

Origin: French, literally "boathook" (from Provençal gaf: see "gaff1"), used colloquially to mean "blunder"

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/gaffe

gaff [entry 1]

Origin: Middle English: from Provençal gaf "hook"; related to "gaffe"

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/gaff

gaff [entry 2]

First use: early 19th century

Origin: (in the senses 'outcry; nonsense' and in the phrase blow the gaff "let out a secret"): of unknown origin

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/gaff--2

gaff [entry 3] | blow the gaff

First use: early 19th century

Origin: unknown

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/gaff--3

gaff [entry 4, British, informal]

First use: mid 18th century

Origin: (in sense "a fair"): of unknown origin

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/gaff--4

gaff [entry 4]

First use: 1930s

Origin: unknown

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/american english​/gaff--4

American Heritage Dictionary:

gaffe

Origin: French, from Old French, hook; see "gaff" [entry 1].

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/gaffe

gaff | gaffed [past tense] | gaffing [present participle] | gaffs [3rd-person singular present]

Origin: Middle English gaffe, from Old French, from Old Provençal gaf, from gafar, to seize, of Germanic origin; see kap- in Indo-European roots. | unknown

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/gaff

New World Dictionary:

gaffe

Origin: French from Old Provencal gaf: see "gaff"

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/gaffe

gaff

Origin: earlier in sense of "a fair": perhaps because visitors were gaffed there | Middle English gaffe from Old French from Old Provencal ... (21 of 51 etymology words)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/gaff

Collins Dictionary:

gaffe

First use: 19th century

Origin: from French

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/gaffe

gaff

First use: 13th century | 19th century | 18th century

Origin: from French gaffe, from Provençal gaf boathook | of unknown origin

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/gaff

Merriam-Webster:

gaffe

First use: 1909

Origin: French, gaff, gaffe

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/gaffe

gaff [entry 1, noun]

First use: about 1656

Origin: French gaffe, from Occitan gaf

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/gaff

gaff [entry 3, noun, British]

First use: 1812

Origin: unknown

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/gaff show=2

gaff [entry 4, noun]

First use: 1896

Origin: unknown

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/gaff show=3

Wiktionary:

gaffe | gaffes [plural] | gaff

Origin: French gaffe ("blunder").

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/gaffe

gaff | gaffs [plural] | gaffed [past tense] | gaffing [present participle]

Origin: Middle English, from Middle French gaffe, from Old Provençal gaf ("hook"), derivative of gafar ("to sieze"), from Gothic ____- derived from _____ (giban, "to give"). | Perhaps from Old English... (29 of 49 etymology words)

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/gaff

Encarta Dictionary:

gaffe | gaffes [plural] | gaff: gaffs [plural] | gaffs [plural]

First use: Early 20th century

Origin: French, originally "boat hook", via Old French from Old Provençal gaf

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861614099​/definition​.html  [offline]

gaff [entry 1] | gaffs [plural] | gaffed [past tense] | gaffing [present participle]

First use: 14th century

Origin: Old French gaffe "boat hook"

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861614098​/definition​.html  [offline]

Audio references

Wiktionary:

gaffe | gaffes [plural] | gaff

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "gaffe"

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/gaffe

Collins Dictionary:

gaffe

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "gaffe"

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/gaffe

gaff

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "gaff"

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/gaff

Cambridge Dictionary:

gaffe

Audio 1: British English pronunuciation of "gaffe"

Audio 2: North American English pronunuciation of "gaffe"

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/gaffe

Macmillan British Dictionary:

gaffe [countable] | gaffes [plural]

Audio: British English pronunciation of "gaffe"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/gaffe

gaff [countable] | gaffs [plural]

Audio: British English pronunciation of "gaff"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/gaff

Macmillan American Dictionary:

gaffe [countable] | gaffes [plural]

Audio: North American pronunciation of "gaffe"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/american​/gaffe

gaff [countable] | gaffs [plural]

Audio: North American pronunciation of "gaff"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/american​/gaff

the Free Dictionary:

gaffe

Audio 1: North American English pronunciation of "gaffe"

Audio 2: British English pronunciation of "gaffe"

www​.thefreedictionary​.com​/gaffe

gaff

Audio 1: North American English pronunciation of "gaff"

Audio 2: British English pronunciation of "gaff"

Audio 3: North American English pronunciation of "gaff" by speech synthesizer

www​.thefreedictionary​.com​/gaff

Google Dictionary:

gaffe | gaffes [plural]

Audio: English pronunciation of "gaffe"

www​.google​.com​/#hl=en&tbs=dfn​:1&fp=1&q=gaffe

gaff | gaffs [plural] | gaffed [past tense] | gaffing [present participle]

Audio: English pronunciation of "gaff"

www​.google​.com​/#hl=en&tbs=dfn​:1&fp=1&q=gaff

Merriam-Webster Pronunciation:

gaffe

Audio: North American pronunciation of "gaffe"

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/audio​.php file=gaffe​001 word=gaffe

gaff

Audio: North American pronunciation of "gaff"

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/audio​.php file=gaff​0001 word=gaff

YourDictionary Audio:

gaffe

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "gaffe" by speech synthesizer

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/gaffe

gaff

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "gaff" by speech synthesizer

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/gaff

Page last updated: 2013-06-26

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