[ waft, wahft ]
See synonyms for waft on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to carry lightly and smoothly through the air or over water: The gentle breeze wafted the sound of music to our ears.

  2. to send or convey lightly, as if in flight: The actress wafted kisses to her admirers in the audience.

  1. Obsolete. to signal to, summon, or direct by waving.

verb (used without object)
  1. to float or be carried, especially through the air: The sound wafted on the breeze. The music wafted across the lake.

  1. a sound, odor, etc., faintly perceived: a waft of perfume.

  2. a wafting movement; light current or gust: a waft of air.

  1. the act of wafting.

  2. Also waif. Nautical. a signal given by waving a flag.

Origin of waft

1535–45; back formation from late Middle English waughter armed escort vessel <Dutch or Low German wachter watchman; in some senses confused with waff

Other words from waft

  • wafter, noun
  • un·waft·ed, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use waft in a sentence

  • Bits of paper blew aimlessly about, wafted by a little, feverish breeze, which rose in spasms and died away.

    Bella Donna | Robert Hichens
  • In the tropics the tobacco field may be scented from afar, as its odors are wafted on the breeze.

  • Light gleamed on the staircase, and breathless voices were wafted up to the two men.

    St. Martin's Summer | Rafael Sabatini
  • And his speech, softer than the softest breath of a zephyr wafted in a wood, sweet and mysterious, reached my ear.

    Frdric Mistral | Charles Alfred Downer
  • As we floated into the atmosphere of this world a soft, delicious music was wafted into the air like a perfume, a dream.

    Urania | Camille Flammarion

British Dictionary definitions for waft


/ (wɑːft, wɒft) /

  1. to carry or be carried gently on or as if on the air or water

  1. the act or an instance of wafting

  2. something, such as a scent, carried on the air

  1. a wafting motion

  2. Also called: waif nautical (formerly) a signal flag hoisted furled to signify various messages depending on where it was flown

Origin of waft

C16 (in obsolete sense: to convey by ship): back formation from C15 wafter a convoy vessel, from Middle Dutch wachter guard, from wachten to guard; influenced by waff

Derived forms of waft

  • waftage, noun

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