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irritate, soothe, relieve, comfort



How to pronounce chafe (audio)

Dictionary definition of chafe

To rub or irritate the skin or other surface by constant friction or pressure.
"She is worried that the heavy backpack will chafe her shoulders."

Detailed meaning of chafe

This can result in discomfort, soreness, or even injury. Chafing can occur in various parts of the body, such as the thighs, underarms, or nipples, and is often caused by clothing or equipment that does not fit properly, or by repetitive movements. The term can also be used figuratively to describe irritation or annoyance caused by a situation or person. In this sense, someone might say they are chafing under the pressure of a demanding boss or chafing at the restrictions of a particular rule or law. Overall, the verb 'chafe' denotes a sense of irritation, discomfort, or frustration, either physically or emotionally.

Example sentences of chafe

1. Ill-fitting shoes can chafe your feet, causing discomfort.
2. The rough fabric of the shirt began to chafe my skin.
3. Hiking in wet clothes can chafe and cause painful rashes.
4. He applied a soothing cream to relieve the chafing.
5. The tight waistband of the pants started to chafe after a while.
6. Constant friction from the rope can chafe the boat's hull.

History and etymology of chafe

The verb 'chafe' has an etymology rooted in Old English and Old French. It can be traced back to the Old English word 'ceafian,' which meant 'to heat' or 'to warm.' In Old French, the term 'chaufer' meant 'to heat' or 'to make warm.' Over time, 'chafe' evolved to describe the action of rubbing or irritating the skin or another surface through constant friction or pressure, often causing discomfort or soreness. The etymology of 'chafe' underscores the idea of generating heat through friction, which aligns with the sensation of irritation and discomfort experienced when something rubs against the skin or a surface repeatedly.

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Further usage examples of chafe

1. She used a soft cloth to prevent the backpack from chafing her shoulders.
2. Long hours in the chair can chafe your back if you don't move.
3. Protect your skin from chafing by wearing moisture-wicking clothing.
4. The collar of the shirt began to chafe my neck during the day.
5. Cyclists often use padded shorts to minimize chafing on long rides.
6. If you wear that rough fabric, it might chafe your skin.
7. Be cautious while running long distances, as the shoes may chafe your feet.
8. These new boots chafe my ankles when I walk.
9. If the collar is too tight, it will chafe his neck.
10. Make sure the saddle doesn’t chafe the horse’s back.
11. The baby's diaper might chafe if it is not changed regularly.
12. The harness can chafe if it's not properly adjusted.
13. Wearing gloves will ensure that the rope doesn't chafe your hands.
14. It's essential to choose the right size to avoid the bra straps that chafe.
15. The chains can chafe the dog’s neck if not covered with some cushion.
16. He needs to apply lotion so the cast doesn’t chafe his leg.
17. These new earrings chafe my earlobes; I might have to switch to a lighter pair.
18. The straps of the mask chafe behind my ears when worn for long periods.
19. Make sure the bandages are loose enough so they don't chafe the wound.
20. The weight belt might chafe during an intense workout if not worn correctly.
21. If the oars are not positioned correctly, they will chafe against the side of the boat.
22. The rough seam on these pants will chafe if I don't wear an undershirt.
23. Be sure to select the right material for your running shorts, or they will chafe during the marathon.
24. The cuffs on this shirt are too tight and chafe my wrists.


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