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SAT vocabulary: gaffe

What does gaffe mean? You’re about to find out!

Quick Vocab Quiz for the word gaffe

First, before you read the explanation, definition, and discussion of the word gaffe, try this quick vocab quiz:

gaffe most nearly means

(A) faux pas (B) reason (C) turning point (D) decision (E) dictum

(Answer is below.)

Part of Speech: NOUN

Pronunciations: IPA: /gæf/ Glossary-style: [gahf]

Definition: a social blunder. a foolish error, especially one made in public (Ex: The many gaffes of the president included throwing up at the dinner table.).

Give it to me straight: A gaffe is simply a kind of mistake that you make in social situations. For example, asking a woman who is not pregnant how many months pregnant she is would be considered a gaffe. In some cultures, doing things such as putting your feet on the table is considered a gaffe, and apparently in some cultures, not belching after a meal (to show one’s satisfaction) can be a gaffe, too.

Example: The president was ridiculed in the press for his many gaffes while visiting Mexico, including trying to eat a tamale with the corn husk still on.

Answer to the quick quiz above:

Answer Click Here to Show the Answer!

By Erin Billy

Founder of TestMagic, Inc. in San Francisco, USA.

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