\ˈwäft, ˈwaft \
wafted; wafting; wafts

Definition of waft 

(Entry 1 of 2)

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



Definition of waft (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something (such as an odor) that is wafted : whiff

2 : a slight breeze : puff

3 : the act of waving

4 : a pennant or flag used to signal or to show wind direction

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Other Words from waft


wafter noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for waft

Synonyms: Verb

drift, float, glide, hang, hover, poise, ride, sail, swim

Synonyms: Noun

air, breath, breeze, puff, zephyr

Antonyms: Verb

settle, sink

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Examples of waft in a Sentence


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.


wafts carrying the scent of spring flowers
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The world’s most stylish took a dichotomous approach to the sticky situation, choosing clothes of either such full and waft-y proportions as to barely touch the body, or dresses so tiny as to have barely anything to touch. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "10 Best Dressed: Week of July 9, 2018," 9 July 2018 Walking to a store in March, Olga Yevseyeva was hit by the familiar, noxious stench of rotten eggs wafting from the town landfill a few miles away. Washington Post, "A big stink erupts over landfills ringing Russia’s capital," 19 June 2018 Everything more complicated than that wafts up the back of your throat via a process called retronasal olfaction to an array of nerve endings dangling through a perforated bit of skull behind your nose called the cribriform plate. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "The Fundamental Nihilism of Yanny vs. Laurel," 16 May 2018 Balloons attached to an explosive fuse, that were launched from Gaza, later wafted onto a trampoline used by Kibbutz children and was dealt with by sappers, Israeli police said. Washington Post, "Israel strikes Hamas after heavy rocket attacks from Gaza," 20 June 2018 The air isn’t safe to breathe for long periods of time, either; the chemicals wafting from the bogs and bubbling waters rob lungs of oxygen and can cause fatigue and even asphyxiation. Ula Chrobak, Outside Online, "This Scientist Learns About Life on Mars in Yellowstone," 18 June 2018 The blare of the horns and the beat of the drums filled the streets. Freshly brewed coffee wafted out of Fifth Street Dick's cafe. Angel Jennings, latimes.com, "There's Koreatown. There's Little Tokyo. So why can't Leimert Park be Africa Town? Or Wakanda?," 25 May 2018 And that means Romero will probably be enjoying those sea breezes, wafting through his Chula Vista bedroom window, for a couple more years. Beth Wood, sandiegouniontribune.com, "San Diego native Gustavo Romero returns to Athenaeum's Summer Festival for the 20th year," 12 July 2018 Two elementary schools in National City were evacuated Monday morning after the smell of natural gas wafted over both campuses. Robert Krier, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Gas smell prompts school evacuations in National City," 30 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Perkins is a poetic sorceress whose authorial wand wafts over the pages of her book and gently probes the depths of children’s souls. Ellen Handler Spitz, New York Times, "What Should Your Kid Read This Summer? Here Are Three to Start With," 1 June 2018 Keep a Lid On It The mussels cook when hot steam produced from the simmering liquid wafts through the pot. Rochelle Bilow, Bon Appetit, "How to Cook Mussels Like Some Kind of Professional Mussel-Cooker," 9 Apr. 2018 In one of the tunnels, a gargantuan Mr. Incredible tries unsuccessfully to corral his son, while the scent of Jack-Jack’s favorite treats, Cookie Num Nums, wafts in the air. Arthur Levine, USA TODAY, "Disneyland's new Pixar Pier: Is it Incredible?," 10 July 2018 Soon, two heaping bags of McDonald’s chicken nuggets arrived with a greasy waft. Ben Detrick, New York Times, "Playboi Carti Conquers the Paris Runway," 29 June 2018 Smoke rises from their midst and the heady smell of hashish wafts all the way to the street outside the gates. Maija Liuhto, Longreads, "A Music So Beautiful the Birds Fell from the Trees," 28 June 2018 The easiest way to find the restaurant is the occasional narcotic waft of roasting Wagyu beef, which chef Oshima Manabu imports from his native Kyoto, wet-ages, and cooks on rotisserie skewers in an oven of his own design. Stan Parish, WSJ, "‘Go Beyond Sushi’: Tokyo’s Culinary Gems," 19 June 2018 Cale is the owner of Birmingham Chocolate, where the earthy aroma of chocolate wafts around you, reminding you of rich dark chocolate or the powder for hot chocolate. Bryce Airgood, Detroit Free Press, "Birmingham chocolatier studied rocket science before turning to truffles," 20 June 2018 Murakami’s jacket is bedazzled with an octopus print and the octopi-fringe on his skirt wafts around his legs as if the tentacles are alive. Gaile Robinson, star-telegram, "The Modern goes big and bright with international art star Murakami retrospective," 8 June 2018

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense


1607, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for waft


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

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Statistics for waft

Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for waft

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

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More Definitions for waft



English Language Learners Definition of waft

: to move lightly through the air


\ˈwäft, ˈwaft\
wafted; wafting

Kids Definition of waft

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to move or be moved lightly by or as if by the action of waves or wind A scent wafted in.



Kids Definition of waft (Entry 2 of 2)

: a slight breeze or puff of air

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Comments on waft

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


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