chaff(redirected from sorting the wheat from the chaff)
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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
Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree
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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
See also related terms for sore.
Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. US Department of Defense 2005.
Past participle: chaffed
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
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"|
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
noun husks, remains, refuse, waste, hulls, rubbish, trash, dregs The harvester separates the straw and chaff from the grain.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
2. (fig) → paja f
B. VT → zumbarse de, tomar el pelo a
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005
vt → aufziehen (about mit)
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995