Origin of draught

1150–1200; Middle English draht (cognate with Dutch dracht, German Tracht, Old Norse drāttr); akin to Old English dragan to draw, drōht a pull (at the oars)
Related formsdraught·er, nounun·der·draught, noun
Can be confuseddraft draught drought (see pronunciation note at the current entry)

Pronunciation note

Draught is a variant spelling of draft and is normally pronounced the same way, as [draft] /dræft/ or [drahft] /drɑft/ or with a vowel somewhere between [a] /æ/ and [ah] /ɑ/. A pronunciation [drawt] /drɔt/ is sometimes heard for draught, perhaps because -aught is frequently pronounced [-awt] /-ɔt/ elsewhere, as in caught and taught.

Definition for draughts (2 of 3)


[ chek-er ]
/ ˈtʃɛk ər /


a small, usually red or black disk of plastic or wood, used in playing checkers.
  1. Also called, British, draughts.(used with a singular verb) a game played by two persons, each with 12 playing pieces, on a checkerboard.
  2. (in a regenerative furnace) loosely stacked brickwork through which furnace gases and incoming air are passed in turn, so that the heat of the exhaust is absorbed and later transferred to the incoming air.
a checkered pattern.
one of the squares of a checkered pattern.

verb (used with object)

Also British, che·quer.

Origin of checker

1250–1300; Middle English checker chessboard < Anglo-French escheker (by aphesis), equivalent to eschec check1 + -er -er2

Definition for draughts (3 of 3)

Also especially British, draught (for defs 1, 3–10, 18–25, 28–33, 35–38).

Origin of draft

later spelling of draught (since 16th century)
Related forms
Can be confuseddraft draught
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for draughts

British Dictionary definitions for draughts (1 of 5)


/ (drɑːfts) /


(functioning as singular) a game for two players using a draughtboard and 12 draughtsmen each. The object is to jump over and capture the opponent's piecesUS and Canadian name: checkers

Word Origin for draughts

C14: plural of draught (in obsolete sense: a chess move)

British Dictionary definitions for draughts (2 of 5)


/ (ˈtʃɛkə) /

noun, verb

the usual US spelling of chequer


textiles a variant spelling of chequer (def. 2)
US and Canadian any one of the 12 flat thick discs used by each player in the game of checkersAlso called (in Britain and certain other countries): draughtsman

British Dictionary definitions for draughts (3 of 5)


/ (ˈtʃɛkə) /

noun mainly US and Canadian

a cashier, esp in a supermarket
an attendant in a cloakroom, left-luggage office, etc

British Dictionary definitions for draughts (4 of 5)


/ (drɑːft) /


verb (tr)

noun, verb

Derived Formsdrafter, noun

Word Origin for draft

C16: variant of draught

British Dictionary definitions for draughts (5 of 5)


US draft

/ (drɑːft) /


See also draughts
Derived Formsdraughter or US drafter, noun

Word Origin for draught

C14: probably from Old Norse drahtr, of Germanic origin; related to draw
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

Medicine definitions for draughts


[ drăft ]


A measured portion of a liquid or aerosol medication; a dose.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Culture definitions for draughts (1 of 2)


A preliminary version of a book, speech, essay, or outline.

Culture definitions for draughts (2 of 2)


A system for selecting young men for compulsory military service, administered in the United States by the Selective Service System. At present the United States relies on a volunteer military and does not have a draft, though young men are required by law to register with the Selective Service. (See also conscientious objector and draft dodger.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.