Definition of gaffe noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ɡæf//
; NAmE NAmE//ɡæf//
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a mistake that a person makes in public or in a social situation, especially something embarrassing synonym faux pas a social gaffe He made some real gaffes early in his career. Most people will politely look the other way if you commit some social gaffe. Word Originearly 20th cent.: from French, literally ‘boathook’ (from Provençal gaf ‘hook’), used colloquially to mean ‘blunder’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: gaffe