daft

adjective

ˈdaft How to pronounce daft (audio)
 also  ˈdäft
1
chiefly British, informal : silly, foolish
Don't do anything daft.
see also daft as a brush
2
chiefly British, informal : mad, insane
… he looks at me as if I were daft.Johanna McGeary
3
Scotland : frivolously merry
daftly adverb
daftness noun

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 In the twisted thriller Saltburn, Pike wowed critics as the fabulous yet daft Lady Elspeth Catton opposite fellow Globe nominee Barry Keoghan as the devious Oliver Quick. Jack Smart, Peoplemag, 8 Jan. 2024 Only Paul could have the daft stamina to keep chasing his vision of bringing this song to life, just as only John could have lighted this fire in him. Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone, 2 Nov. 2023 Wafting about in a flowy, sky-blue negligee, Rachel Bay Jones’ lady of leisure is daft but sweet and accidentally profound. Naveen Kumar, Variety, 22 Oct. 2023 Once a digitally daft chamber, today—after a summer of studying AI—most senators feel savvy enough on the topic to have a few earfuls of complaints for the giants of Silicon Valley. Matt Laslo, WIRED, 13 Sep. 2023 Plus, the whole idea that the purpose of anti-monopoly law was to promote good monopolies was just … daft. Cory Doctorow, WIRED, 7 Sep. 2023 The Beatles went a bit daft in their quest to be the Band, even dressing the part for their final photo shoots. Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone, 10 Aug. 2023 The wholesaler’s daft budget paints a grim picture, opening with a startling message from the agency’s soon-to-retire general manager, Sandy Kerl. Joshua Emerson Smith, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 May 2023 How funny is this daft assault on your laugh reflex? Peter Marks, Washington Post, 15 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'daft.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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.

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near daft

Cite this Entry

“Daft.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/daft. Accessed 20 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

daft

adjective
daftly adverb
daftness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on daft

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