Chaff

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Chaff'

Chaff Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    chaff n
  1. material consisting of seed coverings and small pieces of stem or leaves that have been separated from the seeds [syn: husk, shuck, stalk, straw, stubble]
  2. foil in thin strips; ejected into the air as a radar countermeasure v : be silly or tease one another; "After we relaxed, we just kidded around" [syn: kid, jolly, josh, banter]
Chaff Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Chaff \Chaff\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Chaffed; p. pr. & vb. n. Chaffing.] To use light, idle language by way of fun or ridicule; to banter.
Chaff Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Chaff \Chaff\, v. t. To make fun of; to turn into ridicule by addressing in ironical or bantering language; to quiz. Morgan saw that his master was chaffing him. --Thackeray. A dozen honest fellows . . . chaffed each other about their sweethearts. --C. Kingsley.
Chaff Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Chaff \Chaff\, n. [AC. ceaf; akin to D. kaf, G. kaff.]
  1. The glumes or husks of grains and grasses separated from the seed by threshing and winnowing, etc. So take the corn and leave the chaff behind. --Dryden. Old birds are not caught with caff. --Old Proverb.
  2. Anything of a comparatively light and worthless character; the refuse part of anything. The chaff and ruin of the times. --Shak.
  3. Straw or hay cut up fine for the food of cattle. By adding chaff to his corn, the horse must take more time to eat it. In this way chaff is very useful. --Ywatt.
  4. Light jesting talk; banter; raillery.
  5. (Bot.) The scales or bracts on the receptacle, which subtend each flower in the heads of many Composit[ae], as the sunflower. --Gray. Chaff cutter, a machine for cutting, up straw, etc., into ``chaff'' for the use of cattle.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Chaff'


Chaff (pronounced /ˈtʃɑːf/ or /ˈtʃæf/) is the dry, scaly protective casings of the seeds of cereal grain, or similar fine, dry, scaly plant material such as scaly parts of flowers, or finely chopped straw. Chaff is inedible for humans, but livestock can eat it and in agriculture it is used as livestock fodder, or is a waste material ploughed into the soil or burnt.

"Chaff" comes from Middle English chaf, from Old English ceaf, related to Old High German cheva, "husk".

In grasses (including cereals such as rice, barley, oats and wheat), the ripe seed is surrounded by thin, dry, scaly bracts (called glumes, lemmas and paleas), forming a dry husk, the chaff.

Domesticated types of grain have been bred to have chaff which is easily removed. For example, in wild species of wheat and in the primitive domesticated einkorn, wheats, the grains are hulled – the husks enclose each seed tightly. Before the grain can be used, the hulls must be removed as chaff by further processing such as milling or pounding. In contrast, in free-threshing (or naked) forms such as durum wheat and common wheat, the bracts are fragile, and on threshing the chaff easily breaks up, releasing the grains.

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'Chaff' in famous quotation sentence


* Editor a person employed by a newspaper, whose business it is to separate the wheat from the chaff, and to see that the chaff is printed. - Elbert Hubbard

* A friend is one to whom one can pour out all the contents of one's heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keeping what is worth keeping, and, with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away. - Arab Proverb


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