chaff(redirected from separate the wheat from the chaff)
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Related to separate the wheat from the chaff: separate the sheep from the goats
husks of grain; worthless matter: like chaff in the wind
Not to be confused with:
chafe – to irritate: the starched collar will chafe his neck; annoy; abrade; to heat by rubbing
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.]
v. chaffed, chaff·ing, chaffs
To make fun of in a good-natured way; tease: chaffed him for forgetting the appointment.
To engage in playful teasing.
Good-natured teasing; banter.
1. (Agriculture) the mass of husks, etc, separated from the seeds during threshing
2. (Agriculture) finely cut straw and hay used to feed cattle
3. something of little worth; rubbish (esp in the phrase separate the wheat from the chaff)
4. (Botany) the dry membranous bracts enclosing the flowers of certain composite plants
5. (Military) thin strips of metallic foil released into the earth's atmosphere to confuse radar signals and prevent detection
[Old English ceaf; related to Old High German keva husk]
light-hearted teasing or joking; banter
to tease good-naturedly; banter
[C19: probably slang variant of chafe, perhaps influenced by chaff1]
1. the husks of grains and grasses that are separated during threshing.
2. straw cut up for fodder.
3. worthless matter; refuse.
4. the membranous, usu. dry, brittle bracts of the flowers of certain plants.
5. strips of metal foil dropped by an aircraft to confuse enemy radar.
[before 1000; Middle English chaf, Old English ceaf, c. Middle Dutch, Middle Low German, Middle High German kaf]
chaff′y, adj. -i•er, -i•est.
1. to tease; banter.n.
2. good-natured teasing; raillery.
[1640–50; perhaps from chaff1]
See also related terms for sore.
Radar confusion reflectors, consisting of thin, narrow metallic strips of various lengths and frequency responses, which are used to reflect echoes for confusion purposes. Causes enemy radar guided missiles to lock on to it instead of the real aircraft, ship, or other platform. See also deception; rope.
Past participle: chaffed
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||chaff - material consisting of seed coverings and small pieces of stem or leaves that have been separated from the seeds|
bran - broken husks of the seeds of cereal grains that are separated from the flour by sifting
|2.||chaff - foil in thin strips; ejected into the air as a radar countermeasure|
foil - a piece of thin and flexible sheet metal; "the photographic film was wrapped in foil"
|Verb||1.||chaff - be silly or tease one another; "After we relaxed, we just kidded around"|