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[lawft, loft] /lɔft, lɒft/
a room, storage area, or the like within a sloping roof; attic; garret.
a gallery or upper level in a church, hall, etc., designed for a special purpose:
a choir loft.
a hayloft.
an upper story of a business building, warehouse, or factory, typically consisting of open, unpartitioned floor area.
such an upper story converted or adapted to any of various uses, as quarters for living, studios for artists or dancers, exhibition galleries, or theater space.
Also called loft bed. a balcony or platform built over a living area and used especially for sleeping.
Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S. an attic.
  1. the slope of the face of the head of a club backward from the vertical, tending to drive the ball upward.
  2. the act of lofting.
  3. a lofting stroke.
the resiliency of fabric or yarn, especially wool.
the thickness of a fabric or of insulation used in a garment, as a down-filled jacket.
verb (used with object)
to hit or throw aloft:
He lofted a fly ball into center field.
  1. to slant the face of (a club).
  2. to hit (a golf ball) into the air or over an obstacle.
  3. to clear (an obstacle) in this manner.
to store in a loft.
Shipbuilding. to form or describe (the lines of a hull) at full size, as in a mold loft; lay off.
Archaic. to provide (a house, barn, etc.) with a loft.
verb (used without object)
to hit or throw something aloft, especially a ball.
to go high into the air when hit, as a ball.
Origin of loft
late Old English
before 1000; Middle English lofte (noun), late Old English loft < Old Norse lopt upper chamber or region, the air, sky. See lift
Related forms
loftless, adjective
underloft, noun
well-lofted, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for loft
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We have some wool in loft, which we should not be unwilling to exchange for worsteds.

  • I climbed up into the loft and threw down the hay for her, while she unharnessed her team.

    My Antonia Willa Cather
  • Give me the pigeon and I'll follow her to her loft where ever it is.

    The Night-Born Jack London
  • The furry-pussy bell-ropes, like huge caterpillars, hung on the first loft.

    The Magic World Edith Nesbit
  • In later days this was the kitchen, but in olden times the kitchen was a detached building, and the slaves slept in the loft.

    Jersey City and its Historic Sites Harriet Phillips Eaton
British Dictionary definitions for loft


the space inside a roof
a gallery, esp one for the choir in a church
a room over a stable used to store hay
an upper storey of a warehouse or factory, esp when converted into living space
a raised house or coop in which pigeons are kept
  1. (in golf) the angle from the vertical made by the club face to give elevation to a ball
  2. elevation imparted to a ball
  3. a lofting stroke or shot
verb (transitive)
(sport) to strike or kick (a ball) high in the air
to store or place in a loft
to lay out a full-scale working drawing of (the lines of a vessel's hull)
Word Origin
Late Old English, from Old Norse lopt air, ceiling; compare Old Danish and Old High German loft (German Luft air)
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 loft

"an upper chamber," c.1300, from late Old English loft "the sky; the sphere of the air," from Old Norse lopt "air, sky," originally "upper story, loft, attic" (Scandinavian -pt- pronounced like -ft-), from Proto-Germanic *luftuz "air, sky" (cf. Old English lyft, Dutch lucht, Old High German luft, German Luft, Gothic luftus "air").

Sense development is from "loft, ceiling" to "sky, air." Buck suggests ultimate connection with Old High German louft "bark," louba "roof, attic," etc., with development from "bark" to "roof made of bark" to "ceiling," though this did not directly inform the meaning "air, sky." But Watkins says this is "probably a separate Germanic root." Meaning "gallery in a church" first attested c.1500.


"to hit a ball high in the air," 1856, originally in golf, from loft (n.). Related: Lofted; lofting. An earlier sense was "to put a loft on" (a building), 1560s; also "to store (goods) in a loft" (1510s).


"to hit a ball high in the air," 1856, originally in golf, from loft (n.). Related: Lofted; lofting. An earlier sense was "to put a loft on" (a building), 1560s; also "to store (goods) in a loft" (1510s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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