\ˈdraft, ˈdräft\

Definition of draft 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 fishing

a : the act of drawing or pulling in a net

b : haul sense 2b a draft of fish

2a : the act or an instance of drinking or inhaling a last draft on her cigarette also : the portion drunk or inhaled in one such act

b : a portion poured out or mixed for drinking : dose

3 mechanical engineering

a : the force required to pull a plow or other implement

b : load or load-pulling capacity the draft of a typical draft horse

4a : the act of moving loads by drawing or pulling : pull

b : a team of animals together with what they draw

5a : delineation, representation a draft for a future skyscraper

b : scheme, design

c : a preliminary sketch, outline, or version the author's first draft a draft treaty

6 : the act, result, or plan of lengthening or stretching something (such as threads or metal)

7a : the act of causing a liquid to come out of a container or source : the act of drawing (as from a cask or keg)

b : a portion of liquid so drawn a draft of ale

c : draft (see draft entry 2 sense 2) beer a glass of draft

8 nautical : the depth of water a ship draws (see draw entry 1 sense transitive 6) especially when loaded

9a(1) : a system for or act of selecting individuals from a group (as for compulsory military service) debating whether or not to institute a draft

(2) : an act or process of selecting an individual (as for political candidacy) without the individual's expressed consent

b : a group of individuals selected especially by military draft

c sports : a system whereby exclusive rights to selected new players are apportioned among professional teams He was chosen in the first round of the draft.

10a : an order for the payment of money drawn (see draw entry 1 sense 7c) by one person or bank on another

b : the act or an instance of drawing from or making demands upon something : demand

11a : a current of air in a closed-in space felt a draft

b : a device for regulating the flow of air (as in a fireplace) open the draft

12 : angle, taper specifically, industrial engineering : the taper (see taper entry 2 sense 2b) given to a pattern or die (see die entry 2 sense 3) so that the work can be easily withdrawn

13 : a pocket of reduced air pressure behind a moving object also, racing sports : the use of such a draft to save energy

on draft

: ready to be drawn from a receptacle beer on draft



Definition of draft (Entry 2 of 3)

1 animal husbandry : used or adapted for drawing loads draft horses

2 : being or having been ready to be drawn from a receptacle : being or having been on draft drinking draft beer



Definition of draft (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to select for some purpose: such as

a : to conscript for military service was drafted and sent overseas

b sports : to select (a professional athlete) by draft got drafted by the Yankees

2a : to draw the preliminary sketch, version, or plan of draft legislation

b : compose, prepare draft a memo

3 : to draw off or away water drafted by pumps

4 racing sports : to stay close behind (another racer) so as to take advantage of the reduced air pressure created by the leading racer

intransitive verb

1 : to practice draftsmanship

2 racing sports : to draft another racer (as in car or bike racing)

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Other Words from draft


draftable \ˈdraf-tə-bəl, ˈdräf- \ adjective
draftee \ˌdraf-ˈtē, ˌdräf- \ noun
drafter \ˈdraf-tər, ˈdräf- \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for draft

Synonyms: Noun

burden, cargo, freight, haul, lading, load, loading, payload, weight

Synonyms: Verb

bleed, drain, draw (off), pump, siphon (also syphon), tap

Antonyms: Verb


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Examples of draft in a Sentence


The published poem differs quite a bit from earlier drafts. You may want to seal the windows with plastic to stop drafts.


The two countries are drafting a treaty. The drama club drafted three teenagers to be in the parade. The legislature debated drafting more soldiers. The new rule prohibits teams from drafting players under 18.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This doesn’t change the Bulls’ plan to sign the former Simeon High star and No. 2 pick in the 2014 draft. K.c. Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Bulls working to sign restricted free agent Jabari Parker to offer sheet," 14 July 2018 The Phillies selected Nola with the seventh overall pick in the 2014 draft and signed him for the slot value of $3.3 million. Scott Lauber, Philly.com, "Phillies ace Aaron Nola's devastating offspeed pitches put him in the fast lane to the All-Star Game," 12 July 2018 This isn’t the first time Dark Horse has adapted an unproduced screenplay for comics; in 2013, Mike Mayhew and J.W. Rinzler adapted George Lucas’ original draft of the Star Wars screenplay as the eight-issue The Star Wars mini-series. Graeme Mcmillan, The Hollywood Reporter, "William Gibson's Unproduced 'Alien 3' Screenplay to Be Adapted Into Comics," 12 July 2018 Meanwhile, the pub chain JD Wetherspoon, which had been unable to serve certain beers on draft, said that its supplies were nearly back to normal, Smithers reports. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "A Carbon Dioxide Shortage Is Threatening the U.K.’s Supply of Beer and Crumpets," 3 July 2018 By Angel Guerrero Hoskins played three seasons at Sac State and was selected in the fifth round of the 2014 Major League Baseball draft. Alec Romero, sacbee, "‘It's pretty humbling’: Rhys Hoskins of Sac State and Jesuit makes more history in MLB," 29 June 2018 The Crimson Tide capped off a dominant season on defense with a 21–0 shutout of LSU, which crossed midfield on offense exactly once all night and gained just 92 total yards against a defense brimming with NFL draft picks. Ben Ladner, SI.com, "The 10 Best National Championship Game Performances of the BCS Era," 13 July 2018 The latter is the current favorite to start alongside Adams, and will have competition with rookie draft pick Rashaan Gaulden. Jourdan Rodrigue, charlotteobserver, "Most exciting position battle at Panthers' 2018 training camp fueled by competition," 11 July 2018 The second-round draft pick (34th overall) was named 2017-18 Big 12 Player of the Year after averaging 17.3 points, 7.2 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 39 games last season. Gary Bedore, kansascity, "Devonté Graham suffers injury to right knee, according to report from NBA’s Hornets," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

First round: Navigating the green room As mentioned in previous articles, every player’s situation is different and draft day is no exception. Matt Babcock, SI.com, "The Dreams and Nightmares of Every Agent on NBA Draft Night," 18 June 2018 Kleber had tried to catch the eye of an NBA team twice, withdrawing from draft consideration in 2012 and going undrafted in 2014. Kevin Casas, star-telegram, "Tall tale of a friendship made in Germany and groomed with the Dallas Mavericks," 3 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Police Scotland has drafted 5,000 officers to provide extra security at a cost of up to $6.6 million. NBC News, "Trump arrives in Scotland for quiet weekend of golf after tumultuous week on world stage," 14 July 2018 Police Scotland have drafted 5,000 officers to provide extra security at a cost of up to 5 million pounds ($6.6 million). Jill Colvin And Paul Kelbie, chicagotribune.com, "Trump lies low in Scotland ahead of high-stakes meeting with Putin," 14 July 2018 Police Scotland have drafted 5,000 officers to provide extra security at a cost of up to 5 million pounds ($6.6 million). BostonGlobe.com, "Trump back in Scotland ahead of Putin talks," 14 July 2018 The goal of the practice is to ensure government transparency, but some cities haven’t drafted any sanctions. Meryl Kornfield, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Mayors push to strengthen lobbying laws in Broward," 9 July 2018 Looking back at the players the Detroit Red Wings have drafted in the top 10 since 1983. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Did Detroit Red Wings help or hurt rebuild with veteran signings?," 8 July 2018 New general manager John Dorsey finally turned in a card for a quarterback -- the first time the Browns have drafted one in the first round since selecting Johnny Manziel in 2014 -- by taking the Heisman Trophy winner out of Oklahoma No. 1 overall. Jim Owczarski, USA TODAY, "Browns training camp questions: Will Baker Mayfield make a play for starting QB role?," 5 July 2018 And congressional legislation has been drafted to tackle the problem. Paulina Firozi, Washington Post, "The Health 202: 'Gag clauses' mean you might be paying more for prescription drugs than you need to," 5 July 2018 Serial investor Rick Thompson, who made his fortune founding and growing video game companies, has drafted a citizens initiative that would change the formula used to calculate the maximum total floor area allowed in new beachfront homes. Phil Diehl, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Mansion owner taking sand squabble to ballot box," 4 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'draft.' 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 draft


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1714, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for draft


Middle English draght; akin to Old English dragan to draw — more at draw


see draft entry 1


see draft entry 1

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Statistics for draft

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for draft

The first known use of draft was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for draft



English Language Learners Definition of draft

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a version of something (such as a document) that you make before you make the final version

: cool air moving in a closed space (such as a room)

: a system in which young people are required to join the armed forces of a country for a period of service



English Language Learners Definition of draft (Entry 2 of 3)

of an animal : used for pulling heavy loads

of beer : stored in and poured from a large container

: not yet in the final form



English Language Learners Definition of draft (Entry 3 of 3)

: to make a version of (something, such as a document or plan) that will need more work in order to be finished

: to choose (someone) for a special purpose

: to officially order (someone) to join the armed forces


\ˈdraft, ˈdräft\

Kids Definition of draft

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a version of something written or drawn (as an essay, document, or plan) that has or will have more than one version I finished the rough draft of my report.

2 : a current of air

3 : a device to regulate an air supply (as in a fireplace)

4 : the act of pulling or hauling : the thing or amount pulled a beast of draft

5 : the act or an instance of drinking or inhaling : the portion drunk or inhaled at one time He took a draft of his drink.

6 : the act of drawing out liquid (as from a cask) : a portion of liquid drawn out a draft of beer

7 : the depth of water a ship needs in order to float

8 : the practice of ordering people into military service

9 : the practice of choosing someone to play on a professional sports team

10 : an order made by one person or organization to another to pay money to a third person or organization



Kids Definition of draft (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : used for pulling loads a draft animal

2 : not in final form a draft report

3 : ready to be drawn from a container draft beer


drafted; drafting

Kids Definition of draft (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : to write or draw a version of something (as an essay or plan) that usually needs more work

2 : to choose someone to do something Mom drafted us to clean the garage.

3 : to pick especially for required military service


variants: or chiefly British draught \ˈdraft, ˈdrȧft \

Medical Definition of draft 

1 : a portion (as of medicine) poured out or mixed for drinking : dose

2 : a current of air in a closed-in space

Other Words from draft

drafty or chiefly British draughty \ˈdraf-tē, ˈdrȧf- \ adjective

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Legal Definition of draft 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a preliminary version of something (as a law)

2a : a system for or act of selecting individuals from a group (as for military service)

b : the act or process of selecting an individual (as for political candidacy) without his or her expressed consent

3 : an order for the payment of money drawn by one person or bank on another — see also drawee, drawer — compare check

documentary draft

: a draft that will be honored only upon the presentation of certain documents (as an invoice or certificate of title)

sight draft

: a draft payable on presentation

time draft

: a draft payable a specified number of days after the date of the draft or of its presentation

Legal Definition of draft (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to select for some purpose specifically : to conscript for military service

2 : to compose or prepare especially the preliminary version of drafting legislation

intransitive verb

: to practice draftsmanship

Other Words from draft

drafter noun

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Comments on draft

What made you want to look up draft? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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