chaffing


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chaff 1

 (chăf)
n.
1. Botany Thin dry bracts or scales, especially:
a. The dry bracts enclosing mature grains of wheat and some other cereal grasses, removed during threshing.
b. The scales or bracts borne on the receptacle among the small individual flowers of many plants in the composite family.
2. Finely cut straw or hay used as fodder.
3. Trivial or worthless matter: ignored the picky, unimportant criticisms that were just a lot of chaff.
4. Strips of metal, foil, or glass fiber with a metal content, cut into various lengths and having varying frequency responses, that are used to reflect electromagnetic energy as a radar countermeasure. These materials, usually dropped from aircraft, also can be deployed from shells or rockets.

[Middle English chaf, from Old English ceaf.]

chaf′fy adj.

chaff 2

 (chăf)
v. chaffed, chaff·ing, chaffs
v.tr.
To make fun of in a good-natured way; tease: chaffed him for forgetting the appointment.
v.intr.
To engage in playful teasing.
n.
Good-natured teasing; banter.

[Possibly alteration of chafe or chaff.]
References in classic literature ?
But Passepartout persisted in chaffing him by asking him if he made much by his present occupation.
Dolly described his visit with the key, while her father-in-law gave satisfaction by chaffing her and contradicting all she said.
On Jerry's return to the rank there was a good deal of laughing and chaffing at him for driving hard to the train for an extra fare, as they said, all against his principles, and they wanted to know how much he had pocketed.