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See also: chafé



From Middle English chaufen (to warm), borrowed from Old French chaufer (modern French chauffer), from Latin calefacere, calfacere (to make warm), from calere (to be warm) + facere (to make). See caldron.


  • (US) IPA(key): /tʃeɪf/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪf


chafe (uncountable)

  1. Heat excited by friction.
  2. Injury or wear caused by friction.
  3. Vexation; irritation of mind; rage.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, VI.5:
      Like a wylde Bull, that, being at a bay, / Is bayted of a mastiffe and a hound / […] That in his chauffe he digs the trampled ground / And threats his horns []
  4. (archaic) An expression of opinionated conflict.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:argument
    • 1830, Joseph Plumb Martin, The Adventures Of A Revolutionary Soldier
      When we returned we found the poor prisoner in a terrible chafe with the sentinel for detaining him, for the guard had been true to his trust.

Derived terms[edit]



chafe (third-person singular simple present chafes, present participle chafing, simple past and past participle chafed)

  1. (transitive) To excite heat in by friction; to rub in order to stimulate and make warm.
  2. (transitive) To excite passion or anger in; to fret; to irritate.
  3. (transitive) To fret and wear by rubbing.
    to chafe a cable
  4. (intransitive) To rub; to come together so as to wear by rubbing; to wear by friction.
  5. (intransitive) To be worn by rubbing.
    A cable chafes.
  6. (intransitive) To have a feeling of vexation; to be vexed; to fret; to be irritated.






  1. Formal second-person singular (usted) imperative form of chafar.
  2. First-person singular (yo) present subjunctive form of chafar.
  3. Formal second-person singular (usted) present subjunctive form of chafar.
  4. Third-person singular (él, ella, also used with usted?) present subjunctive form of chafar.