\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taper (see taper entry 2 sense 2b) given to a pattern or die (see die entry 2 sense 3) so that the work can be easily withdrawn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 for draft

Synonyms: Noun

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

Synonyms: Verb

conscribe, conscript, levy

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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

Second, there was the draft document outlining a false statements charge against conservative commentator Jerome Corsi, who leaked it last month after Mueller’s team provided it to him as part of plea deal talks. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "The Mueller investigation has gotten closer to Donald Trump," 6 Dec. 2018 In talks between the U.S. and European nations, negotiators endorsed the draft statement that recognized that the multilateral trading system helped economies grow, and that a majority of nations still support the Paris climate accord. Valentina Pop, WSJ, "G-20 Agrees to Joint Statement, With Compromises," 1 Dec. 2018 When Jack and Nicky go to a bar to see if Nicky will be drafted into the Vietnam war, real footage of the 1970 lottery draft was used. Eileen Reslen, Good Housekeeping, "10 Significant Moments You Missed From 'This Is Us' Last Night," 17 Oct. 2018 Some countries that contribute troops to U.N. missions privately expressed unhappiness at the initial U.S. draft resolution. Fox News, "UN council support tough action for peacekeeping failures," 21 Sep. 2018 The draft plan, which is available at www.cmap.illinois.gov, is expected to be formally adopted at CMAP’s Oct. 10 meeting, Garritano said. Susan Demar Lafferty, Daily Southtown, "CMAP plan draws variety of comments," 14 July 2018 The Bucks’ first-round draft pick out of UCLA in 1977, Johnson made an immediate impact as a rookie, averaged 25.6 points in his second year and was the catalyst on teams that won five consecutive division titles under Don Nelson. Gary D'amato, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "D'Amato: It's time for the Bucks to retire Marques Johnson's jersey number," 14 July 2018 Ball, who was chosen by the Lakers with the second overall pick in last year’s draft, averaged 10.2 points and 7.2 assists during his first NBA season. BostonGlobe.com, "Knee surgery scheduled for Lonzo Ball," 14 July 2018 Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton, the first pick in last month’s draft, also struggled. Keith Pompey, Philly.com, "Sixers beat Suns in summer league in first Zhaire Smith-Mikal Bridges matchup," 13 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

Anderson had his most productive season with the Spurs since being drafted in 2014. Jabari Young, San Antonio Express-News, "Spurs-Kawhi Leonard relationship could be approaching the healing stage," 11 June 2018 Parker, who spoke after Wednesday’s OTA workout, has been saddled with various injuries since being drafted in the first round in 2015. Shandel Richardson, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Dolphins receiver DeVante Parker out to silence the doubters this season," 6 June 2018 At age 17, Fisher left home after being drafted into the Ontario Hockey League. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Who Is Mike Fisher? Everything You Need to Know About Carrie Underwood's Husband," 6 June 2018 He was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 1983, and played in professional basketball leagues in both Europe and Japan. Nick Kostov, WSJ, "Dentsu Aegis’s Chief to Step Down," 14 Nov. 2018 He was born at 11:58pm — and because that meant he was born on the 18th instead of the 19th, he was drafted. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "This Is Us goes to Vietnam for a poignant, gut-wrenching episode," 21 Oct. 2018 He was drafted in 2010, the year before the new Collective Bargaining Agreement put limits on rookie contracts, and signed an initial five-year deal worth $18.3 million on April 22, 2010. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Seahawks Earl Thomas Q&A: What happens now? Did Seattle blow it?," 2 Oct. 2018 Carrie needed to be based in Nashville, and Mike was still playing with the Ottawa Senators, the team he'd been drafted by 13 years earlier. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Carrie Underwood's Marriage to Mike Fisher Is Basically a Real-Life Fairytale," 8 Aug. 2018 Later on, it's revealed that Nicky was actually drafted first. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Last Night's Episode of 'This Is Us' Revealed an Even More Heartbreaking Detail About Jack's Death," 17 Oct. 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

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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More from Merriam-Webster on draft

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with draft

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for draft

Spanish Central: Translation of draft

Nglish: Translation of draft for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of draft for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about draft

Comments on draft

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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