\ ˈkwäf How to pronounce quaff (audio) , ˈkwaf How to pronounce quaff (audio) \
quaffed; quaffing; quaffs

Definition of quaff

transitive verb

: to drink (a beverage) deeply

intransitive verb

: to drink deeply

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Other Words from quaff

quaff noun
quaffer noun

Quaff and Slug

Nowadays, quaff has an old-fashioned, literary sound to it. For more contemporary words that suggest drinking a lot of something, especially in big gulps and in large quantity, you might try drain, pound, or slug. If you are a daintier drinker, you might say that you prefer to sip, imbibe or partake in the beverage of your choice. Quaff is by no means the oldest of these terms—earliest evidence of it in use is from the early 1500s, whereas sip dates to the 14th century—but it is the only one with the mysterious "origin unknown" etymology.

Examples of quaff in a Sentence

We stopped at a bar and quaffed a few beers. after digging our car out of the snowdrift, we were ready to quaff some hot chocolate

Recent Examples on the Web

In 1519, Montezuma II and the Spanish invader Hernán Cortés famously quaffed the cold, frothy brew at a feast in the capital Tenochtitlán (now Mexico City). Franz Lidz, Smithsonian, "The Delicious, Ancient History of Chocolate and Vanilla," 11 July 2019 More than a few headed to the nearby Balls Brothers restaurant and bar and were seen quaffing prosecco and beer. Bloomberg, latimes.com, "Deutsche Bank’s big overhaul leaves investors unimpressed," 8 July 2019 In an outdoor corridor, a glass patio table is set with floral-patterned china, just like when the Queen Mother dropped by and quaffed a vodka-and-beef-bouillon Bullshot with Coward. Norma Meyer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "James Bond’s Jamaican roots," 13 June 2019 This leaves us with little choice but to fire up the coffee kettle and quaff a few cups of stimulation. Ed Silverman, STAT, "Pharmalittle: An ALS drug may become available under ‘right to try’; Takeda shareholders look to derail Shire deal," 11 June 2018 On an artful beat, Guido Palau created yet another masterpiece, this time for Burberry’s Fall 2019 show featuring model Kacie Hall’s strands quaffed into an asymmetrical headpiece. Akili King, Vogue, "The Best Beauty Instagrams of the Week: Adwoa Aboah, Beyoncé, and More," 24 Feb. 2019 Here, some spectators can be seen quaffing beer and eating a corn dog, while others sip Champagne in box seats while wearing an heirloom fur coat and $5,000 boots custom-made by Northside’s M.L. Leddy’s. Alina Dizik, WSJ, "As Homebuyers Flock In, Fort Worth Embraces its Cowtown Reputation," 17 Jan. 2019 Our suggestion for handling this re-entry is to quaff a cup or three of stimulation. Ed Silverman, STAT, "Pharmalittle: CMS drops plan for Novartis drug; lawsuit offers fresh details on Purdue opioid marketing," 9 July 2018 Yet despite the billionaire backers quaffing champagne at the Hong Kong IPO, the company’s name remains virtually unknown in the U.S.–a major obstacle to Lei’s stated ambition to create a Jobsian company that impacts the world. Charlie Cambell/beijing, Time, "Lei Jun Wants to Be China’s Answer to Steve Jobs. But Trump’s Trade War Is Getting In His Way," 12 July 2018

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

1523, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for quaff

origin unknown

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Statistics for quaff

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for quaff

The first known use of quaff was in 1523

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English Language Learners Definition of quaff

old-fashioned + literary : to drink a large amount of (something) quickly

More from Merriam-Webster on quaff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for quaff

Comments on quaff

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


to complain fretfully

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