\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 & Antonyms for heft

Synonyms: Noun

authority, clout, credit, in, influence, leverage, pull, sway, weight

Synonyms: Verb

boost, crane, elevate, heave, heighten, hike, hoist, jack (up), lift, perk (up), pick up, raise, take up, up, uphold, uplift, upraise

Antonyms: Verb

drop, lower

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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

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 But the MiniBooNE sterile neutrino lacks the heft for these purposes. Natalie Wolchover, Washington Post, "Evidence for a new fundamental particle thrills and baffles physicists," 18 June 2018 This gives them, and by extension the PTM, a heft that others lack. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "Pakistan’s Pashtuns Take On the Army—and Terrorists," 14 June 2018 So the first lady's wardrobe is well positioned to tell a story about the global nature of fashion, its ability to speak to cultural and social shifts, the heft of its emotional resonance. Robin Givhan, Houston Chronicle, "Nothing else Melania Trump wears will ever matter again," 13 July 2018 The masonry stacks don’t have the heft of older neighbors. John King, SFChronicle.com, "Well-crafted Jackson Square condos rich in design inspiration," 2 July 2018 What makes Click's buns distinctively Midwestern are No. 1, the heft of the things. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "You won't believe the doughnut ice cream sandwiches coming to Fountain Square," 6 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 According to the Wall Street Journal, the staffers included accountants and marketers, who suddenly found themselves hefting boxes. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "UPS Office Staff Called Up to Deliver Packages In Last-Minute Christmas Rush," 24 Dec. 2017

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

26 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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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).


one that holds something together

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