\ ˈdaft How to pronounce daft (audio) also ˈdäft \

Definition of daft

1 chiefly British, informal : silly, foolish Don't do anything daft.
2 chiefly British, informal : mad, insane … he looks at me as if I were daft.— Johanna McGeary
3 Scotland : frivolously merry

Other Words from daft

daftly adverb
daftness \ ˈdaf(t)-​nəs How to pronounce daft (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for daft



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Examples of daft in a Sentence

Your idea seems a bit daft to me. She looked at us as if we'd gone daft.
Recent Examples on the Web But unlike the first film, Sonic 2 has a daft sense of fun that feels totally self-assured, a proper blend of kid-friendly gags and deeply dorky world building, complete with post-credit sequences and ever-expanding lore. David Sims, The Atlantic, 6 Apr. 2022 Someday soon — maybe in a year, maybe at the next Olympic trials — Americans will look back at last week's events and ask how any organization could have been so daft, so anachronistic, so wrongheaded. Jim Souhan, Star Tribune, 4 July 2021 Does this praise even track for a generation raised on politicians who make hay exploiting daft cultural skirmishes? Virginia Heffernan Los Angeles Times, Star Tribune, 23 Apr. 2021 The internet has accelerated the spread of absurd theories, but these are a continuation of the sort of daft rumors that have always circulated in human communities. New York Times, 5 May 2020 Nevertheless, emotion resonates through this delightful memoir, which offers a candid, humorous look inside the royal family and the daft world of the British aristocracy. Moira Hodgson, WSJ, 24 Mar. 2020 Which, of course, sounds daft since voters headed to the polls last Tuesday or headed to their mailboxes at some point to send in their absentee ballots. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12 Apr. 2020 Yet just as Shoplifters conceded that its low-class antiheroes were actually horrible people, Parasite is fairly kind to the upper crust, portraying the rich as sweet if slightly daft people. Kyle Smith, National Review, 3 Oct. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'daft.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of daft

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for daft

Middle English daffte, daft, defte "well-mannered, gentle, dull, foolish," going back to Old English gedæfte "gentle, mild, meek," adjective derivative of a Germanic base *daƀ- "becoming, fit" (whence also Old English gedafen "appropriate, fitting," Gothic gadaban "to happen, be suitable," with lengthened grade Old English gedēfe "fitting, worthy, quiet, tranquil," Middle Dutch onghedoef "wild, rough," Gothic gadob ist "it is fitting"), going back to dialectal Indo-European *dhabh- or *dhobh-, whence also Old Church Slavic podobati "to become, be fitting," dobrŭ "good, pleasant," Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian dôba, dȍba "time, season," Lithuanian dabà "nature, character," dabnùs "well-dressed, elegant"

Note: The sense progression from Germanic to Modern English is apparently "fit, becoming" to "well-mannered, modest" to "dull, stupid" to "foolish, irrational." See also deft.

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The first known use of daft was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

10 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Daft.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/daft. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for daft


\ ˈdaft How to pronounce daft (audio) \
dafter; daftest

Kids Definition of daft

More from Merriam-Webster on daft

Nglish: Translation of daft for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of daft for Arabic Speakers


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