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.
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.

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

Examples from the Web for hefted

Contemporary Examples of hefted

Historical Examples of hefted

  • He hefted the spade and brought it down smartly on the object.

    The Leech

    Phillips Barbee

  • He picked up one of the cylinders and hefted it in the palm of his hand.

    Sense from Thought Divide

    Mark Irvin Clifton

  • He took the Geest gun from his pocket, hefted it in his hand.

    Watch the Sky

    James H. Schmitz

  • Instinctively, he grasped two legs of the heavy chair and hefted it.

    My Shipmate--Columbus

    Stephen Wilder

  • He drew it out slowly, as quietly as he could, and hefted it in his hand.

British Dictionary definitions for hefted


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

Word Origin for heft

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 hefted



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



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper