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How to pronounce gaffe (audio)

Dictionary definition of gaffe

An embarrassing mistake or blunder, typically made in a social or public context.
"The guest speaker's cultural gaffe offended the audience and resulted in an apology."

Detailed meaning of gaffe

It is a slip-up or misstep that can range from a minor faux pas to a more significant error that could harm one's reputation or relationships. Gaffes may be unintentional, such as saying the wrong thing, making an inappropriate gesture, or wearing inappropriate clothing. They can also result from poor judgment or lack of preparation, such as failing to research or understand a particular situation or culture. Gaffes can cause discomfort, offense, or amusement to others, depending on the severity and context of the mistake. While some gaffes can be quickly forgotten, others may have long-term consequences, particularly in politics, business, or the media, where public image is critical. Therefore, it is essential to be mindful of one's words and actions, and to apologize or make amends when a gaffe occurs.

Example sentences containing gaffe

1. His accidental use of profanity was a cringe-worthy gaffe.
2. She committed a fashion gaffe by wearing pajamas to the event.
3. The politician's insensitive comment became a major gaffe.
4. The comedian's joke turned into an unintentional gaffe.
5. Mispronouncing a guest's name was a notable pronunciation gaffe.
6. His spilled drink caused an embarrassing gaffe at the party.

History and etymology of gaffe

The noun 'gaffe' finds its origins in French. It is derived from the Old French word 'gaf,' which means 'clumsy' or 'awkward.' 'Gaffe' refers to an embarrassing mistake or blunder, typically made in a social or public context. It implies a lapse in judgment or a misstep that results in a moment of discomfort or embarrassment. The etymology of 'gaffe' highlights the notion of clumsiness or awkwardness, emphasizing the unintentional and often regrettable nature of such mistakes when they occur in social or public settings.

Quiz: Find the meaning of gaffe

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Further usage examples of gaffe

1. The actor's acceptance speech included a memorable gaffe.
2. Her awkward dance moves were the highlight of the evening's gaffe.
3. Forgetting their anniversary was a marital gaffe he regretted.
4. The anchor's on-air gaffe left viewers in disbelief.
5. Sending the wrong email to the client was a costly work-related gaffe.
6. The CEO's public gaffe led to a drop in stock prices.
7. The artist's paint spill turned into a creative gaffe.
8. His mistimed punchline resulted in an uncomfortable comedic gaffe.
9. The chef's culinary gaffe left diners with upset stomachs.
10. Making a false statement during the interview was a professional gaffe.
11. Her misplaced gift became a holiday season gaffe.
12. The professor's grading error became a class-wide gaffe.
13. The singer's missed note was an audible gaffe during the concert.
14. Her unintentional burp was a humorous gaffe at the formal dinner.
15. The athlete's stumble became a memorable sporting gaffe.
16. The student's loud snore in class was an embarrassing gaffe.
17. The magician's trick mishap was an entertaining gaffe.
18. His failure to zip up his fly became an office gaffe.
19. The politician's historical inaccuracy was a public-speaking gaffe.



slip, correctness, tact, propriety


SAT 6 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Embarrassment and Discomfort, Connections and Interactions

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