\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

Firefighters are steadily beating back several massive autumn blazes in California, as smoke originating from the wildfires is now blanketing the state’s southern coast and wafting east. Umair Irfan, Vox, "California’s wildfires are hardly “natural” — humans made them worse at every step," 12 Nov. 2018 And what would a streetcar be without a whiff of alcohol wafting off the wooden seats? David Grunfeld, NOLA.com, "A desire to ride a New Orleans streetcar: A photo essay," 7 Mar. 2018 The smells wafting out of the smoker pit in the main room are enough to make any diet crumble. Kristin Luna, Condé Nast Traveler, "19 Best Restaurants in Nashville," 27 Feb. 2018 The home serves as a bright, blank canvas for layers of artwork collected over the years, as well as a calming place where the air gently wafts in and out, and sandstone tile cascades gently down to a patio and glistening pool. Samantha Weiss Hills, Curbed, "11 sparkling pools you’ll want to dive into," 13 Aug. 2018 The victory snapped a six-game losing streak and allowed hip-hop trio Migos to waft from the clubhouse speakers into Roberts' office after the game. Andy Mccullough, latimes.com, "Everything clicks as Dodgers end six-game losing streak with 7-0 win over Marlins," 17 May 2018 As Leilani Avenue curves west, the satellite images shows smoke wafting off a lava flow. Paul P. Murphy, CNN, "These satellite images show how lava has seared neighborhoods in Hawaii," 16 May 2018 The outdoor section of the pool features a waterfall, views of the sky and, depending on the temperature, wafting fog that partially obscures you from the other guests. Sadé Carpenter, RedEye Chicago, "Time for R&R: 6 ways to relax and unwind in and near Chicago," 3 Apr. 2018 For even Philo has embraced a bit of the neo-maximalism wafting around. Lisa Armstrong, Harper's BAZAAR, "Fashion Resolutions for 2015," 27 Nov. 2014

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There is much for her, and audiences, to soak in here: the hanging laundry, the wafts of roasting chestnuts, the rumbling Fiat 1100s, and the theatrical conversations. Jason Horowitz, Vogue, "Meet the Adorable Italian Stars in HBO’s Elena Ferrante Adaptation, My Brilliant Friend," 14 Aug. 2018 As intense, eye-watering smoke wafts from incense coils hanging overhead, stop to admire golden deities, murals and Chinese wood carvings. Janice Leung Hayes, Condé Nast Traveler, "23 Best Things to Do in Hong Kong," 27 Feb. 2018 Passing country cottages, the smell of cinnamon wafts out of open windows, and then disappears into the air beyond. Sebastian Modak, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Way to Experience Austria's Wine Country Is By Bike," 7 Sep. 2018 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

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

11 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on waft

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with waft

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for waft

Spanish Central: Translation of waft

Nglish: Translation of waft for Spanish Speakers

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).


a nest or breeding place

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