v. chafed, chaf·ing, chafes
1. To wear away or irritate by rubbing or friction: The starched collar chafed my neck.
2. To annoy; vex: “It chafed him no end to be under obligation to her” (Carson McCullers).
3. To warm by rubbing, as with the hands: The skaters chafed their cold hands.
1. To cause irritation by rubbing or friction: The high collar chafed against my neck.
2. To become worn or sore from rubbing or friction: My hands chafed from washing them with harsh soap.
3. To feel irritated or impatient: They chafed at the delay. The reporters chafed under the new restrictions.
1. Warmth, wear, or soreness produced by friction.
2. Annoyance; vexation.
[Middle English chafen, from Old French chaufer, to warm, from Vulgar Latin *calefāre, alteration of Latin calefacere : calēre, to be warm; see kelə-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + facere, to make; see dhē- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.