a person, especially a child, who has no home or friends.
something found, especially a stray animal, whose owner is not known.
a very thin, often small person, usually a young woman.
a stray item or article: to gather waifs of gossip.
Nautical. waft (def. 8).
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use waif in a sentence
Ann is an opera singer, fragile and captivating onstage, somewhere between waif and warrior.Annette Is Gorgeous to Look at But All the Wrong Kinds of Weird | Stephanie Zacharek | August 6, 2021 | Time
Her scruffy waif look was as far as possible from the sophisticated luxury of her childhood.
A tiny quiver of the eyelids, and a tremor through the thin hands and Mysie—poor ruined broken waif of the world—was gone.The Underworld | James C. Welsh
I have heard a waif word in the country,” said I, a little nettled, “that you were a hard man to drive.The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 10 (of 25) | Robert Louis Stevenson
My waif was curled up in my kimono, feeding my fan-tailed goldfish.Jane Journeys On | Ruth Comfort Mitchell
You were a little waif, fed cake and tea at the millionaire's table.The Devil | Joseph O'Brien
Woman, divorced from home, wanders unfriended like a waif upon the wave.
British Dictionary definitions for waif
a person, esp a child, who is homeless, friendless, or neglected
anything found and not claimed, the owner being unknown
nautical another name for waft (def. 5)
law obsolete a stolen article thrown away by a thief in his flight and forfeited to the Crown or to the lord of the manor
- waiflike, adjective
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