\ 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

Inside, a lighted candle glowed on the counter, its scent wafting out whenever someone went in or out. Aleksandra Crapanzano, WSJ, "The Untold Story Behind Paris’s Most Charming Boutique," 21 June 2018 In the East Baton Rouge Parish fire, footage showed Marino leaving The Cast Iron Kitchen, which was closed at the time, just minutes before smoke began wafting from the building. Laura Mcknight, NOLA.com, "Baton Rouge man accused of torching his own restaurant after string of arson attempts," 21 Feb. 2018 On the day of my visit, a Wood magazine editor was building a cabinet in the woodworking shop, and the scent of the banana oat muffins wafted out of a company kitchen. Sydney Ember, New York Times, "A Heartland Company Leads the Media Race," 11 Mar. 2018 But this year the scents of patchouli and hairspray will respectively waft over the Gorge Amphitheatre. Michael Rietmulder, The Seattle Times, "Phish, Journey and Def Leppard announce Washington shows, more concert news," 26 Jan. 2018 Grilling concentrates the zucchini’s natural sweetness and renders the flesh lush and velvety, as wisps of smoke waft up from the coals to impart another layer of flavor. Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, "Vegetarian Steak? This Recipe Proves It’s Not an Oxymoron," 9 Aug. 2018 As song and the smell of incense wafted through the air, candle-bearing parishioners followed the crowd from the cathedral through Main Plaza and down to the waterfront. Brian Contreras, San Antonio Express-News, "‘La Procesión’ lights way to honor city’s patron saint," 13 June 2018 On a recent spring evening at a popular Gaziantep restaurant, Arabic ballads and smoke from water pipes wafted over the Syrian clientele. Erin Cunningham, Washington Post, "Turkey to Syrian refugees: You don’t have to go home, but don’t stay here," 10 Apr. 2018 Aromas of curry and turmeric wafted through the kitchen and dining room, as employees swept and set up tables. Louis Hansen, The Seattle Times, "One way to keep food-service workers in pricey places: Pay their rent," 17 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Cloudy-dandelion in color, the Lapati Kidev Erti Chinuri smells and tastes like orange trees in the spring with wafts of cantaloupe, honey, and fresh laundry. Marissa A. Ross, Bon Appetit, "7 Wild Wines from Central & Eastern Europe You Need to Czech Out Now," 20 Feb. 2018 From the Los Angeles design studio Commune comes a clever ruse: a terra cotta disc, designed to hold scented oil, that nestles like a halo on a lightbulb, sending unseen wafts into the air. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "10 Utterly Perfect Home Fragrances for the Holiday Hostess with the Mostest," 20 Nov. 2018 Opera music wafts through the air, and a television set shows a stage with a full choir joining together in song. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "Personable, Popular, Pragmatic: Is Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar the Democrat’s Secret Weapon?," 15 Jan. 2019 The waft of cigarette smoke and hint of manure in Santa Rosa air usher me back into the restaurant. Hartford Courant, courant.com, "The Poems Of Aaron Caycedo-Kimura: Honoring Ones Parents," 13 June 2018 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

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

15 May 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).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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