[draft, drahft]
draughts, (used with a singular verb) British. the game of checkers.
Chiefly British, draft ( defs 1, 3–10, 18–25, 38 ).
verb (used with object)
Chiefly British, draft ( defs 28–32 ).
verb (used without object)
Chiefly British, draft ( def 33 ).
Chiefly British, draft ( defs 35–37 ).

1150–1200; Middle English draht (cognate with Dutch dracht, German Tracht, Old Norse drāttr); akin to Old English dragan to draw, drōht a pull (at the oars)

draughter, noun
underdraught, noun

draft, draught, drought (see pronunciation note at the current entry).

Draught is a variant spelling of draft and is normally pronounced the same way, as [draft] or [drahft] or with a vowel somewhere between [a] and [ah]. A pronunciation [drawt] is sometimes heard for draught, perhaps because -aught is frequently pronounced [-awt] elsewhere, as in caught and taught.
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1 [chek-er]
a small, usually red or black disk of plastic or wood, used in playing checkers.
Also called, British, draughts. (used with a singular verb) a game played by two persons, each with 12 playing pieces, on a checkerboard.
(in a regenerative furnace) loosely stacked brickwork through which furnace gases and incoming air are passed in turn, so that the heat of the exhaust is absorbed and later transferred to the incoming air. See diag. under open-hearth.
a checkered pattern.
one of the squares of a checkered pattern.
verb (used with object)
to mark like a checkerboard.
to diversify in color; variegate.
to diversify in character; subject to alternations: Sorrow and joy have checkered his life.
Also, British, chequer.

1250–1300; Middle English checker chessboard < Anglo-French escheker (by aphesis), equivalent to eschec check + -er -er2

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
checker1 (ˈtʃɛkə)
n, —vb
1.  the usual US spelling of chequer
2.  textiles a variant spelling of chequer
3.  (US), (Canadian) Also called (in Britain and certain other countries): draughtsman any one of the 12 flat thick discs used by each player in the game of checkers

checker2 (ˈtʃɛkə)
1.  a cashier, esp in a supermarket
2.  an attendant in a cloakroom, left-luggage office, etc

draught or draft (drɑːft)
1.  a current of air, esp one intruding into an enclosed space
2.  a.  the act of pulling a load, as by a vehicle or animal
 b.  (as modifier): a draught horse
3.  the load or quantity drawn
4.  a portion of liquid to be drunk, esp a dose of medicine
5.  the act or an instance of drinking; a gulp or swallow
6.  the act or process of drawing air, smoke, etc, into the lungs
7.  the amount of air, smoke, etc, inhaled in one breath
8.  a.  beer, wine, etc, stored in bulk, esp in a cask, as opposed to being bottled
 b.  (as modifier): draught beer
 c.  on draught drawn from a cask or keg
9.  Also called: draughtsman, US and Canadian equivalent: checker any one of the 12 flat thick discs used by each player in the game of draughts
10.  the depth of a loaded vessel in the water, taken from the level of the waterline to the lowest point of the hull
11.  feel the draught to be short of money
[C14: probably from Old Norse drahtr, of Germanic origin; related to draw]
draft or draft
[C14: probably from Old Norse drahtr, of Germanic origin; related to draw]
'draughter or draft
'drafter or draft

draughts (drɑːfts)
(functioning as singular) US and Canadian name: checkers a game for two players using a draughtboard and 12 draughtsmen each. The object is to jump over and capture the opponent's pieces
[C14: plural of draught (in obsolete sense: a chess move)]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

early 14c., "a chessboard," aphetic of O.Fr. eschekier "chessboard," from M.L. scaccarium (see check). British prefers chequer, but the U.S. form is more authentic. Checkered "marked like a chessboard" is from late 15c.

c.1200, from O.E. *dreaht, *dræht, related to dragan "to draw, drag" (see drag). Oldest sense besides that of "pulling" is of "drinking;" meaning "current of air" ("drawn" through an opening) is 18c. It retains the functions that did not branch off with draft.

British name for the tabletop game that in U.S. is checkers, c.1400, from draught.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
After all, people who gulp down vast draughts of bandwidth might be expected to
  pay more than less grasping users.
Knowing when to open or close the direct damper and upper and lower draughts
  was an art that took considerable practice.
Salmon, trout, and char in these streams have little chance for survival during
Especially valuable are the reports of viewers which often include detailed
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