noun (1)
\ˈwāf \

Definition of waif 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a piece of property (such as property washed up by the sea) found but unclaimed

b waifs plural : stolen goods thrown away by a thief in flight

2a : something found without an owner and especially by chance

b : a stray person or animal especially : a homeless child

3 : an extremely thin and usually young woman


noun (2)

Definition of waif (Entry 2 of 2)

Other Words from waif

Noun (1)

waifish \ˈwā-​fish \ adjective
waiflike \ˈwāf-​ˌlīk \ adjective

First Known Use of waif

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (2)

1530, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for waif

Noun (1)

Middle English weif, waif, from Anglo-French, from waif, adjective, stray, unclaimed, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse veif something flapping, veifa to be in movement — more at wipe

Noun (2)

perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse veif something flapping

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The first known use of waif was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for waif


\ˈwāf \

Kids Definition of waif

: a homeless child

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More from Merriam-Webster on waif

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with waif

Spanish Central: Translation of waif

Nglish: Translation of waif for Spanish Speakers

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having a pattern of small flowers

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