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See more synonyms for heft on Thesaurus.com
  1. weight; heaviness: It was a rather flimsy chair, without much heft to it.
  2. significance or importance.
  3. Archaic. the bulk or main part.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to test the weight of by lifting and balancing: He hefted the spear for a few moments, and then flung it at the foe.
  2. to heave; hoist.
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Origin of heft

1550–60; heave + -t, variant of -th1
Related formsheft·er, nounun·heft·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

goods, capacity, weight, haul, bundle, amount, consignment, shipment, payload, load, density, gravity, pressure, substance, burden, heft, raise, rise, hoist, climb

Examples from the Web for heft

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • An' I'll be whipped if 'Mandy herself didn't tell the heft on't arter 'twas all over.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • I gathered that the heft of his spare change had come from dickers in stocks and bonds.

    The Depot Master

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • I'd told him the heft of the yarn on the way from the church, and he was interested.

    The Depot Master

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • "I spend the heft of my daytimes out in the Back yard," he wrote.

    Cap'n Dan's Daughter

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • They haven't any more business sense than a hen, the heft of 'em ain't.

    Galusha the Magnificent

    Joseph C. Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for heft


verb (tr)
  1. to assess the weight of (something) by lifting
  2. to lift
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  1. US weight
  2. US the main part
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Derived Formshefter, 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

Word Origin and History for heft


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.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper