Chaff: Reflections on a multi-definition word - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

WAFFwords

Chaff: Reflections on a multi-definition word

This type of chaff interferes with radar signals. (Source: UAH) This type of chaff interferes with radar signals. (Source: UAH)
(WAFF) -

'Chaff' is an interesting word in that it has several radically different meanings, one of which we are well familiar with, being in a military area.

As we've learned in the past, chaff can be used in military operations to reflecting radar waves. It's primary use is for confusing enemy's radar detection.

However, it also shows up on Doppler weather radars used by certain television stations (ahem), and can actually register heavy returns.

MORE: Radar reflectivity caused by chaff

'Chaff' is also used to describe the seed covering and other debris separated from the seed in a thresher. This is where the old phrase "separating the wheat from the chaff" is derived from.

Another definition for chaff, based in part from that phrase, is "something comparatively worthless," according to Merriam-Webster.

It is also used as a verb meaning "to good-naturedly tease" or "banter," and as a noun for a jokester or jester.

Copyright 2015 WAFF. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • UPDATE: Brad issues statement about #JusticeForBradsWife vs. Cracker Barrel movement

    UPDATE: Brad issues statement about #JusticeForBradsWife vs. Cracker Barrel movement

    Friday, March 24 2017 1:06 PM EDT2017-03-24 17:06:26 GMT
    So far, Cracker Barrel has not responded to requests for comment. (Source: Eli Christman on flickr.com)So far, Cracker Barrel has not responded to requests for comment. (Source: Eli Christman on flickr.com)

    Why did Cracker Barrel fire Brad's wife? It's really no one's business, other than Brad's and his wife's, but that hasn't stopped people around the world from demanding answers after a Harrison County, IN, man publicly asked the restaurant chain why his wife Nanette was let go from her job at the Cracker Barrel in Corydon.

    More >>

    Why did Cracker Barrel fire Brad's wife? It's really no one's business, other than Brad's and his wife's, but that hasn't stopped people around the world from demanding answers after a Harrison County, IN, man publicly asked the restaurant chain why his wife Nanette was let go from her job at the Cracker Barrel in Corydon.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly