1 of 2


wafted; wafting; wafts

intransitive verb

: to move or go lightly on or as if on a buoyant medium
heavenly aromas wafted from the kitchen

transitive verb

: to cause to move or go lightly by or as if by the impulse of wind or waves
wafter noun


2 of 2


: something (such as an odor) that is wafted : whiff
: a slight breeze : puff
: the act of waving
: a pennant or flag used to signal or to show wind direction

Examples of waft in a Sentence

Verb The smell of chicken soup wafted up to my bedroom. The sound of music wafted softly into the yard from our neighbor's house. A breeze wafted the scent of roses towards our table. Noun wafts carrying the scent of spring flowers
Recent Examples on the Web
The smoke was wafting from a bunch of sage leaves lit by Thomas Little, whose company, Urbangreen, has done landscaping and planting work at Mr. Derian’s stores for the last decade. Christopher Barnard, New York Times, 24 Nov. 2023 Dozens of oversized windows scattered throughout the house flood the place with natural light, while sliding glass doors allow ocean breezes to waft inside and back out. James McClain, Robb Report, 14 Nov. 2023 Think of it as an overflow space off the kitchen where friends and family can sit in a comfy chair and chat as delicious aromas waft around them while the cook makes a meal. Maria Sabella, Better Homes & Gardens, 21 Sep. 2023 In June, during Canada’s worst-ever wildfire season, New York saw its skies turn orange from the smoke that wafted over, with residents suffering from that type of pollution at a concentration of about 117 micrograms per cubic meter. Hari Kumar, New York Times, 3 Nov. 2023 The sound of water wafts up from below and the night sky above is littered with stars. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, 3 Nov. 2023 With each footstep, the scent of grass or horse manure wafted through the air. Clarence Williams, Washington Post, 6 Nov. 2023 Drones launched from a central hub would waft through the skies delivering just about everything anyone could need. David Streitfeld, New York Times, 4 Nov. 2023 The odor of cannabis wafted up the back stairs toward the cavernous, second-floor newsroom. Daniel Golden, ProPublica, 14 Oct. 2023
But Pelosi, who grew up listening to opera waft through the streets of Baltimore’s Little Italy, is a genuine tie-dyed in the wool Deadhead, as cultists and aficionados of the group are known. Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times, 27 Aug. 2023 But walking through the glass doors of My Kabul is transporting: Photos of Afghanistan, with its stately mountains and clear blue lakes, line the wall, while the smells of Afghan food waft from the kitchen. Grace Segers, The New Republic, 14 Aug. 2023 Cue the sounds of rolling waves, wafts of sea breeze and quintessential ocean views. Robyn George, USA TODAY, 22 Mar. 2023 In the coming days, the model suggests that a portion of the country stretching from the Midwest into the Southeast could also experience hazy conditions, as tendrils of smoke waft over these regions. NBC News, 8 June 2023 Methane gas leaks from wells and natural gas lines and wafts from manure ponds, decomposing landfills, and directly from livestock. Isabella O'Malley, Fortune, 6 Apr. 2023 There are wafts of fragrant florals; there are waves of winter spices. Allison Robicelli, Washington Post, 9 Mar. 2023 Catching the occasional funny waft after using the bathroom is normal. Sabrina Talbert, Women's Health, 31 Jan. 2023 The waft of Carrolls cigarettes and Majors. Kevin Barry, The New Yorker, 4 Apr. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'waft.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English, perhaps from past participle of Middle English (northern dialect) waffen, by-form of Middle English waven to wave

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense


1607, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of waft was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near waft

Cite this Entry

“Waft.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/waft. Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
: to move or be moved lightly by or as if by the action of wind or waves


2 of 2 noun
: a slight breeze : puff

More from Merriam-Webster on waft

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