\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for heft

Synonyms: Noun

avoirdupois, heaviness, weight

Synonyms: Verb

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The new film portrays the hero with greater emotional complexity, and the well-rounded supporting characters give the story greater heft. Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, "Death Wish makes a play for thematic complexity, but it's the same old revenge story," 2 Mar. 2018 Yes, Kurt Russell brings the heft of a seasoned Hollywood star to his very seasonal role as a newer, hipper, not-your-father’s Kris Kringle. Vogue, "Prioritizing Netflix’s Perfectly Cheesy Holiday Movies," 23 Nov. 2018 Maisie’s investigation takes on heft from its underlying theme of war profiteering, with greedy entrepreneurs like Mike Yates exposing their employees to life-threatening working conditions just to make a buck. Marilyn Stasio, New York Times, "Child Sleuths and Child Victims," 30 Mar. 2018 Parties, it is hoped, would acquire more ideological heft, to help build a majority in Congress, instead of simply seeking the president’s favour. The Economist, "BanyanChanging the constitution of the Philippines may prove perilous," 1 Feb. 2018 Fortunately, the collection's boxy pastel coats—spring in spirit, if winter in heft—paired with that romance-ready eye makeup are just the right prescription for the long days of New York Fashion Week ahead. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "The Tom Ford Beauty Code—Glamorous and Sexy—Is Here to Stay," 7 Feb. 2019 Mergers give some players more heft to enlarge their piece of the pie. Joseph Walker, WSJ, "Why Americans Spend So Much on Health Care—In 12 Charts," 31 July 2018 The real heft of the date — the twist — is when Jason's friends show up, one of whom is named Hawk Jameson. Rebecca Farley, refinery29.com, "The Bachelorette Season 14, Episode 6 Recap: Is Now Really The Time For A "Debate"?," 3 July 2018 Military dollars help keep the economy running, and military protocol and pageantry add heft, sparkle, and intrigue to Tampa society. Vicky Ward, Town & Country, "The Bizarre Scandal That Brought Down General David Petraeus," 29 Nov. 2016

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 At Hartford Public High School, Payne hefted his dreams of writing the next Great American Novel against the pressure to help his family with a well-paying career. Matthew Ormseth, courant.com, "Les Payne, Hartford Product An Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist, Dies at 76," 21 Mar. 2018 But these are relatively small rockets, with a diameter of just 1.27 meters—compared to the 117-meter wingspan of the Stratolaunch aircraft—and capable of hefting less than half a ton into low-Earth orbit. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "The world’s largest airplane may launch a new space shuttle into orbit," 7 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about heft

Dictionary Entries near heft



Hefner candle




hefty price tag

Statistics for heft

Last Updated

9 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for heft

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

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


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!