Definition of waft in English:


Line breaks: waft
Pronunciation: /wɒft
, wɑːft


  • 1(With reference to a scent, sound, etc.) pass or cause to pass gently through the air: [no object, with adverbial of direction]: the smell of stale fat wafted out from the cafe [with object and adverbial of direction]: each breeze would waft pollen round the house
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    • Two nights before Christmas your nostrils would light up from the scents wafting in over the breeze.
    • Brush your hands against the plant and inhale the delightful scent wafting through the breeze.
    • There was a very fragrant bush with small purple flowers on it that wafted a candy-like scent.
    drift, float, glide, whirl, travel, be carried, be borne, be conveyed, be transportedconvey, transport, transmit, carry, bear; blow, puff
  • 1.1 [no object, with adverbial of direction] Move with a gliding motion: models wafted down the catwalk in filmy organza skirts
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    • Expounding and elucidating as she wafts across the paper, Clio floats like the ribbons around her hair and waist.
    • The whitish clouds wafted slowly down the street.
    • Then she quickly wafted away, like visiting royalty.


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  • 1A gentle movement of air.
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    • Thus even a not-entirely-great movie like City by the Sea feels like wafts of fresh air.
    • As I concentrate harder, a waft of wind ruffles my hair and I sense divine inspiration.
    • Lily's fan blew a pleasant waft of cooler air our way, and I closed my eyes, enjoying the breeze.
  • 1.1A scent carried in the air: from the kitchen comes a waft of roasting meat
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    • Some of our strongest memories are triggered by the sudden waft of a particular scent.
    • Taking a deep breath, she noticed the faint waft of a musky eau de cologne in the air.
    • Within minutes the buns were in the oven, sending out wafts of spicy aromas.
  • 2 (also weft) Nautical , • historical A knotted ensign, garment, etc. displayed by a ship as a signal.
    [perhaps related to Scots and northern waff 'a signal, waving of something in the hand', a variant of wave]
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    • A signal of distress is accentuated by making it into a weft, which is done by knotting it in the middle.
    • We heard the ship fire a gun, and make a waft with her ensign as a signal for the boat to come on board.


early 16th century (in the sense 'escort a ship'): back-formation from obsolete wafter (used only by opponents of the practice) 'armed convoy vessel', from Low German, Dutch wachter, from wachten 'to guard'. A sense 'convey by water' gave rise to the current use of the verb.

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