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[wey-fer] /ˈweɪ fər/
a thin, crisp cake or biscuit, often sweetened and flavored.
a thin disk of unleavened bread, used in the Eucharist, as in the Roman Catholic Church.
a thin disk of dried paste, gelatin, adhesive paper, or the like, used for sealing letters, attaching papers, etc.
Medicine/Medical. a thin sheet of dry paste or the like, used to enclose a powder to be swallowed.
any small, thin disk, as a washer or piece of insulation.
Electronics. a thin slice of semiconductor used as a base material on which single transistors or integrated-circuit components are formed.
verb (used with object)
to seal, close, or attach by means of a wafer or wafers:
to wafer a letter.
Origin of wafer
1350-1400; Middle English wafre < Middle Dutch wafer, variant of wafel waffle1
Related forms
waferlike, wafery, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for wafer
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I go in with him, and as we are coming out, I ask him child-like for a wafer.

    The Book of Khalid Ameen Rihani
  • Neither were to be had, and he was fain to put up with a wafer.

    One Of Them Charles James Lever
  • It was about as large around as a wafer, but somewhat thicker.

    Rollo's Experiments Jacob Abbott
  • They give him a slice of bread a little larger than a dollar and as thin as a wafer.

    Holland, v. 1 (of 2) Edmondo de Amicis
  • The frog was caught and killed, the wafer got back, and the girl recovered.

    Europa's Fairy Book Joseph Jacobs
British Dictionary definitions for wafer


a thin crisp sweetened biscuit with different flavourings, served with ice cream, etc
(Christianity) a thin disc of unleavened bread used in the Eucharist as celebrated by the Western Church
(pharmacol) an envelope of rice paper enclosing a medicament
(electronics) a large single crystal of semiconductor material, such as silicon, on which numerous integrated circuits are manufactured and then separated
a small thin disc of adhesive material used to seal letters, documents, etc
(transitive) to seal, fasten, or attach with a wafer
Derived Forms
wafer-like, wafery, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old Northern French waufre, from Middle Low German wāfel; related to waffle1
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 wafer

late 14c., from Anglo-French wafre, Old North French waufre "honeycomb, wafer," perhaps from Frankish (cf. Flemish wafer, altered from Middle Dutch wafel "honeycomb;" see waffle (n.)). Also found in Old French as gaufre, gofre "wafer, waffle." Eucharistic bread first so called 1550s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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