\ ˈwäft How to pronounce waft (audio) , ˈwaft How to pronounce waft (audio) \
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

On Thursday nights at 6:30 p.m., music can be heard wafting through the center of Windsor from the Windsor Town Green on Broad Street. courant.com, "Community News For The Windsor Edition," 3 July 2019 The wafting aroma of the roaster will hopefully attract coffee-lovers to their fresh African joe. Savannah Eadens, The Courier-Journal, "Sample some African joe and book a safari at this new Louisville coffee house," 25 June 2019 Maybe no one will notice that Fido hasn't had a bath this week thanks to that sweet cinnamon scent wafting through the air. Lauren Piro, Good Housekeeping, "10 Sneaky Ways You Fake Clean During the Holidays," 11 Dec. 2014 Food has always been able to connect us to different places and parts of our lives—a smell wafting through the streets can take us back decades. Parker Bowie Larson, ELLE Decor, "Every Page of This New Cookbook Feels Like a Summer Weekend in the Hamptons," 28 May 2019 Words on a page are meant to evoke an emotion in the same way a scent wafting through the air can awaken the senses. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "On World Book Day, Find the Fragrance That Matches Your Literary Taste," 23 Apr. 2019 Aguilar, 44, remembers walking to and from school, the smell of candy from nearby factories wafting through the air. Nina Agrawal, latimes.com, "Brooklyn's Sunset Park, built and rebuilt by immigrants, sees change once again," 20 Apr. 2018 This involves architecture, the smells wafting from the sooq, the temperature, the people going about. Dennis Tang, Teen Vogue, "How Hafsah Faizal Created a Fantastical World Rooted in Reality," 28 May 2019 Sauntering down the iconic walkway of the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, and pausing to greet runway pals Elsa Hosk, Cindy Bruna, and Adriana Lima, Harlow and her tulle train bounced in the breeze wafting off the nearby coast. Zachary Weiss, Vogue, "It Was Super Yachts, Champagne, and Endless Tulle at the amfAR Cannes Gala," 24 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Its once-squalid floors and tiled walls now gleam, and a perfume of disinfectant wafts through the corridors. Rachel Swan, SFChronicle.com, "Needles on wane in BART trains and stations, another sign of fentanyl’s rise," 7 July 2019 The aroma of spicy shredded beef and pork wafts through the air. Emma Schwartz, Bon Appétit, "How a Prison Cooking Show Connects Residents to Life Outside," 2 July 2019 To me, The Federal is the waft of truffles that billows from the front door and entices the arriving guest. Rand Richards Cooper, courant.com, "The Federal, Agawam," 25 June 2019 But in Hungry, Gordinier invokes such playful and lush prose that the scents of mole, chiles and even lingonberry juice waft off the page. Annabel Gutterman, Time, "Inside the Journey to Reinvent One of the World's Greatest Restaurants," 25 June 2019 The sooty air stings throats and wafts into the gleaming modern office buildings in the center of town and into the blocky, Soviet-style apartment towers that sprawl toward the mountains on the city’s edges. Beth Gardiner, National Geographic, "Kids suffer most in one of Earth's most polluted cities," 26 Mar. 2019 As carbon dioxide gas wafts off the ice and seeps through the burrows, rats fall asleep, then never wake up. Charlie Hamilton James, National Geographic, "How rats became an inescapable part of city living," 17 June 2019 Music wafts through the neighborhood from a DJ booth. Sharon Coolidge, Cincinnati.com, "Orlando offers glimpse at FC Cincinnati soccer stadium future and the impact on a community," 31 May 2019 Air-purifying plants line the walls, and a custom essential oil blend of lemon, basil, and cedarwood wafts through every room. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Inside the New York Wellness Space That Could Be the Future of Primary Care," 30 Jan. 2019

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

10 Jul 2019

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 How to pronounce waft (audio) , 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).


something desired as essential

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