\ˈheft \

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

That can be a lot of extra heft to carry in this world. Koko Ntuen, Teen Vogue, "Aretha Franklin Taught Me to Respect Myself and Demand Respect from the World," 17 Aug. 2018 Samsung added a lot of heft to the Tab S4's battery—the company claims the 7,300mAh battery can support up to 16 hours of video playback. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Samsung’s Tab S4 is both an Android tablet and a desktop computer," 1 Aug. 2018 Another possibility is that corporate concentration may have increased because of lax antitrust enforcement or the growing heft of companies benefiting from network effects, like internet firms. The Economist, "Companies appear to be gaining market power," 5 July 2018 Before long the frustration was back on his face, his jaw set grimly once more, the heft of a nation’s disappointment draped over him. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Messi comes up short again, new star arises as France eliminates Argentina at World Cup," 30 June 2018 Through the ’70s and into the ’80s, the heft of paintings increased with addition of more and different materials: crushed seashells, pebbles, glitter. New York Times, "Growing, Faltering, Changing, Growing: Lessons From Kay WalkingStick," 7 June 2018 Sadly, Berk’s stale screenplay simply lacks the heft or depth to lift it above third-hand homage to earlier, better, smarter films. Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Damascus Cover': Film Review," 4 July 2018 The vote tested the heft of Trump’s endorsement in South Carolina, where McMaster, 71, was elevated to the governorship he’d long sought early last year following the departure of Nikki Haley to serve as U.N. ambassador. Meg Kinnard, The Seattle Times, "S.Carolina Gov. McMaster, a Trump supporter, wins GOP runoff," 26 June 2018 The heft of his résumé tells us yes, that the 73-year-old club president has a last hurrah in him. Greg Cote, miamiherald, "Here's how Miami Heat got stuck in NBA purgatory. Now, can Pat Riley find a way out?," 22 June 2018

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.

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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

5 Dec 2018

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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

: importance or influence



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

: to lift (something) up


\ˈheft \
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

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


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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