\ 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

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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 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, "The metaphors and truths of the Reagan and Mondale eras," 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, "My Brother Isn’t Raising His Child Right. Should I Speak Up?," 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, "‘Lady in Waiting’ Review: Self-Portrait of a Lady," 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, "Wisconsin figures out a way to celebrate holidays even as coronavirus cases grow and election drama continues," 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, "An Intriguing Class-War Comedy," 3 Oct. 2019 All of this is serious, and Public Health's suggestion to exercise social distancing seems very daft. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "How Can You Safely Run a Marathon Amidst Coronavirus Fears? We Did the Math," 6 Mar. 2020 Almost everyone thinks this is daft but won’t say so, because the trans issue is the most pressing social-justice matter of the day. James Lileks, National Review, "President Judge Judy," 25 July 2019 Judging a stock by its name may not be a daft strategy after all. The Economist, "WOOF, CAKE, BOOM: stocks with catchy tickers beat the market," 7 Oct. 2019

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.

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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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Time Traveler for daft

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

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Last Updated

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Daft.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/daft. Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for daft



English Language Learners Definition of daft

British, informal
: strange often in a way that is funny
: crazy or foolish


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

Kids Definition of daft

More from Merriam-Webster on daft

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for daft

Nglish: Translation of daft for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of daft for Arabic Speakers

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