waft

[ waft, wahft ]
/ wæft, wɑft /
|

verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to float or be carried, especially through the air: The sound wafted on the breeze. The music wafted across the lake.

noun

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
Related formswaft·er, nounun·waft·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wafter

  • "And she carries herself like a wafter on the river," said the bargeman.

    Windsor Castle|William Harrison Ainsworth

British Dictionary definitions for wafter (1 of 2)

wafter

/ (ˈwɑːftə, ˈwɒf-) /

noun

a device that causes a draught

British Dictionary definitions for wafter (2 of 2)

waft

/ (wɑːft, wɒft) /

verb

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

noun

the act or an instance of wafting
something, such as a scent, carried on the air
a wafting motion
Also called: waif nautical (formerly) a signal flag hoisted furled to signify various messages depending on where it was flown
Derived Formswaftage, noun

Word Origin for 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
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 wafter

waft


v.

1510s, "to carry over water," back-formation from obsolete wafter "convoy ship" (late 15c.), from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German wachter "a guard," from wachten "to guard," related to waken "rouse from sleep" (see wake (n.1)). The meaning "pass through air or space, float" is first attested 1704, and possibly shows some influence of northern dialect waff "cause to move to and fro" (1510s), a variant of wave. Related: Wafted; wafting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper