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The husks of corn or other seed separated by winnowing or threshing; traditionally taken as the type of something worthless.

Recorded from Old English (in the form cæf, ceaf), the word probably comes from a Germanic base meaning ‘gnaw’.

be caught with chaff be easily deceived (as in the proverb, you cannot catch old birds with chaff).

separate the wheat from the chaff distinguish valuable people or things from worthless ones.

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