• synonyms


[kwof, kwaf, kwawf]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to drink a beverage, especially an intoxicating one, copiously and with hearty enjoyment.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to drink (a beverage) copiously and heartily: We spent the whole evening quaffing ale.
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  1. an act or instance of quaffing.
  2. a beverage quaffed.
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Origin of quaff

First recorded in 1515–25; origin uncertain
Related formsquaff·er, nounout·quaff, verb (used with object)un·quaffed, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

sip, swill, imbibe, swig, gulp, guzzle, toss, partake, down, ingurgitate, sup, swallow

Examples from the Web for quaff

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Strollers come from the town to quaff the freshening breeze.

  • I laugh with them, I quaff with them, I let them rob me; but that's all.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service

  • He must beware how he presume yet to quaff the volatile and fiery spirit.


    Edward Bulwer Lytton

  • He handed Carpenter a glass and each drank off his cocktail at a quaff.

    The Bishop of Cottontown

    John Trotwood Moore

  • I rest under the shade of the corozo palm, and quaff the wine of the acrocomia.

    The War Trail

    Mayne Reid

British Dictionary definitions for quaff


  1. to drink heartily or in one draught
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Derived Formsquaffable, adjectivequaffer, noun

Word Origin

C16: perhaps of imitative origin; compare Middle Low German quassen to eat or drink excessively
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 quaff


1510s (implied in quaffer), perhaps imitative, or perhaps from Low German quassen "to overindulge (in food and drink)," with -ss- misread as -ff-. Related: Quaffed; quaffing. The noun is attested by 1570s, from the verb.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper