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Blech. These are the grossest words.


[heft] /hɛft/
weight; heaviness:
It was a rather flimsy chair, without much heft to it.
significance or importance.
Archaic. the bulk or main part.
verb (used with object)
to test the weight of by lifting and balancing:
He hefted the spear for a few moments, and then flung it at the foe.
to heave; hoist.
Origin of heft
1550-60; heave + -t, variant of -th1
Related forms
hefter, noun
unhefted, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hefting
Historical Examples
  • He raised it, examining and hefting it with the judgment of an expert.

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • He hitched the horse, and hefting the insensible man in his arms, staggered blindly into the timber.

    When 'Bear Cat' Went Dry Charles Neville Buck
  • “I brought some stuff,” the goth kid said as he paid for his ticket, hefting two huge duffel bags.

    Makers Cory Doctorow
  • hefting it in his hand, and then swinging it about his head, Phil discovered that he had a weapon that would almost fell an ox.

  • "Should think you were," mused the Colonel, hefting the lightened vessel.

  • hefting his mallet, Daoud watched the first match, also between two teams of fifth-year trainees.

  • Well, two pounds easily, answered Old Crusty, shutting one eye and hefting his troutship knowingly.

    The Arrival of Jimpson Ralph Henry Barbour
  • There was much "hefting" and sometimes weighing of birds on the barn scales.

    A Busy Year at the Old Squire's Charles Asbury Stephens
British Dictionary definitions for hefting


verb (transitive)
to assess the weight of (something) by lifting
to lift
(US) weight
(US) the main part
Derived Forms
hefter, noun
Word Origin
C19: probably from heave, by analogy with thieve, theft, cleave, cleft
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hefting



mid-15c., "weight, heaviness, quality of weight," from heave on analogy of thieve/theft, weave/weft, etc.; also influenced by heft, obsolete past participle of heave.


"to lift," 1660s, from heft (n.). Related: Hefted; hefting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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