Definition of waft in English:

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Pronunciation: /wɒft/
Pronunciation: /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
More example sentences
  • 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 transported
convey, 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
More example sentences
  • 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.


1A gentle movement of air.
Example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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 English waff 'a signal, waving of something in the hand', a variant of wave
Example sentences
  • 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.

Words that rhyme with waft

abaft, aft, craft, daft, draft, draught, engraft, graft, haft, kraft, raft, understaffed, unstaffed

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: waft

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