[haft, hahft]


a handle, especially of a knife, sword, or dagger.

verb (used with object)

to furnish with a haft or handle; set in a haft.

Origin of haft

before 1000; Middle English; Old English hæft handle, literally, that which is taken, grasped; cognate with Latin captus, German Heft han-dle
Related formsun·haft, verb (used with object)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for haft

Historical Examples of haft

  • Three times he struck the shield with the haft and three times with the blade of his spear.

    Irish Fairy Tales

    Edmond Leamy

  • From one sheath a haft of gold projected and from the other one of silver.

  • Thus arose the "haft qir,at," or seven readings of the Qurn, now recognised.

  • There it had been when the haft slipped from his hands, and there had it remained.


    Mayne Reid

  • As it struck, the haft flew from the spear and bounded down the slope.

    B. C. 30,000

    Sterner St. Paul Meek

British Dictionary definitions for haft



the handle of an axe, knife, etc


(tr) to provide with a haft
Derived Formshafter, noun

Word Origin for haft

Old English hæft; related to Old Norse hapt, Old High German haft fetter, hefti handle
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

Word Origin and History for haft

Old English hæft "handle," related to hæft "fetter," from Proto-Germanic *haftjom (cf. Old Saxon haft "captured;" Dutch hecht, Old High German hefti, German Heft "handle;" German Haft "arrest"), from PIE *kap- "to grasp" (see capable). To haven other haeftes in hand "have other hafts in hand" was a 14c.-15c. way of saying "have other business to attend to."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper