\ ˈheft How to pronounce heft (audio) \

Definition of heft

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2 archaic : the greater part of something : bulk


hefted; hefting; hefts

Definition of heft (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to heave up : hoist
2 : to test the weight of by lifting hefting the rod … to get the feel of itConsumer Reports

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Synonyms for heft

Synonyms: Noun

avoirdupois, heaviness, weight

Synonyms: Verb

boost, heave, hoist, jack (up), upheave

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Examples of heft in a Sentence


the heft of a good hammer some synthetic fabrics are nice and warm, but I prefer wool because it has more heft


hefted his growing son onto his shoulders heft your baggy gym shorts a little higher—you're showing us more than we care to see
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Despite its regional military heft, few expect Hezbollah to eagerly enter into a conflict involving the United States. Washington Post, "Iran has invested in allies and proxies across the Middle East. Here’s why they matter now.," 19 June 2019 He’s built like a tank and has been able to overpower college defenders with his heft and explosiveness as a straight-line driver, and his base level of athletic ability gives him a good chance to find some level of NBA success. Jeremy Woo, SI.com, "2019 NBA Draft Big Board 7.0: Top 100 Prospect Rankings," 5 June 2019 And after years of rapid growth, China’s economic heft is undeniable. Mike Bird, WSJ, "How China’s Growth Slowdown Could Rattle Stocks Around the World," 21 Jan. 2019 The company's heft in the marketplace is one reason Northern California is the most expensive place in the country to have a baby, according to a 2016 report. Chad Terhune, latimes.com, "California hospital giant Sutter Health faces heavy backlash on prices," 15 May 2018 But the growing evidence makes clear that Trump's top advisers, for one reason or another, can't help but speak their mind while their words still carry heft. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "Outgoing Trump administration officials keep sending distress signals," 5 Apr. 2018 But that imagined martyr role doesn’t last, or carry any real heft. Phil Rosenthal, chicagotribune.com, "Matt Spiegel thanks WSCR listeners; explains 'a new boss gets to do what he wants'," 21 Mar. 2018 Already a Silicon Valley veteran, he was brought in to provide managerial heft to the less experienced founders of the company, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Rob Copeland, WSJ, "Eric Schmidt to Leave Alphabet Board," 30 Apr. 2019 If smudges or raccoon eyes are your problem, on the other hand, Eyeko's new waterproof 'Yoga' formula, named for its flexible, ultra stretch fibers, provides serious heft without clumps. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "5 New Black Mascaras You Need in Your Life This Fall," 17 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Since the time required to graduate is typically four years, many students will accept their diploma while hefting more than $100,000 in debt. Stephane Kasriel, Fortune, "Why Upwork Scratched College Degree Requirements From Our Job Descriptions," 6 June 2019 After a short drive to the village of Ambolotara, the men hefted the baskets a mile and a half up a dirt path to the planting site on one side of a ravine—land that belongs to a farmer who’s under contract with the project. Paul Tullis, National Geographic, "How the sapphire trade is driving lemurs toward extinction," 6 Mar. 2019 The cargo bay of the C-130J has a volume of more than 4,500 square feet and can heft loads as heavy as 37,200 pounds, delivering this cargo by using dirt runways in dangerous airspace. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The C-130J Super Hercules Is Ready for the Worst," 9 Oct. 2018 The man who built the house would pile on some mud, then heft a great club and pound it down. Lu Yang, The New Yorker, "Silver Tiger," 4 June 2017 Specialist squads of police hefting automatic rifles stand sentry by the statute of the late Queen Victoria outside the Henry VIII gate to Windsor Castle. Karla Adam, Washington Post, "Royal wedding 2018 live coverage: The service, the dress, the guests," 19 May 2018 Donning hard hats and safety goggles, a group of young adults hefting large hammers enthusiastically smashed away at a wall in what later this summer will be the new home of GiGi’s Playhouse in Tinley Park. Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown, "GiGi's Playhouse in Tinley Park begins work on bigger location," 17 May 2018 Xie’s gift for striking imagery withheld—in order to give her precepts heft and authority. Ben Taub, The New Yorker, "Jenny Xie Writes a Sightseer’s Guide to the Self," 30 Apr. 2018 Before the vote, Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) hefted a foot-tall stack of papers that, along with a second similar-sized stack, represented the bill and its backup documentation. Cathleen Decker, latimes.com, "House approves $1.3-trillion spending bill and sends it to the Senate as deadline approaches," 22 Mar. 2018

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


circa 1661, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for heft


from heave, after such pairs as weave : weft

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Learn More about heft

Dictionary Entries near heft



Hefner candle




hefty price tag

Statistics for heft

Last Updated

4 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for heft

The first known use of heft was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for heft



English Language Learners Definition of heft

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: weight or heaviness
chiefly US : importance or influence



English Language Learners Definition of heft (Entry 2 of 2)

chiefly US : to lift (something) up


\ ˈheft How to pronounce heft (audio) \
hefted; hefting

Kids Definition of heft

: to lift something up She hefted her suitcase onto the train.

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More from Merriam-Webster on heft

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with heft

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for heft

Spanish Central: Translation of heft

Nglish: Translation of heft for Spanish Speakers

Comments on heft

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food or victuals

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