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[draft, drahft] /dræft, drɑft/
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).
Origin of draught
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)
Related forms
draughter, noun
underdraught, noun
Can be confused
draft, draught, drought (see pronunciation note at the current entry)
Pronunciation note
Draught is a variant spelling of draft and is normally pronounced the same way, as
[draft] /dræft/ (Show IPA)
[drahft] /drɑft/
or with a vowel somewhere between
[a] /æ/
[ah] /ɑ/ .
A pronunciation
[drawt] /drɔt/
is sometimes heard for draught, perhaps because -aught is frequently pronounced
[-awt] /-ɔt/
elsewhere, as in caught and taught. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for draught
  • The large concrete-shell cooling towers used on power stations are a special variety of the chimney-type natural-draught tower.
  • This large, icy house is full of draughts.
  • This is one of the problems with subsidies - they're basically ensuring the job draught will continue.
  • Its new bottled "draught" beer claims to have the "authentic" Guinness .
  • The draught animal has it easy; it needs merely to pull.
  • Using tree rings there is no way to tell the difference between a draught accompanied by severe heat and a severe cold snap.
  • Bacon came thither by chance in the afternoon, and offered to buy their draught: they were willing.
  • The robust flavor of this ruby draught will never replace the soft drink.
  • This sad truth is even deeper in case of future, generalised draught.
  • What a small wagon train was doing with several hundred draught animals was not explained.
British Dictionary definitions for draught


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

c.1200, from Old English *dreaht, *dræht, related to dragan "to draw, drag" (see drag). Oldest sense besides that of "pulling" is of "drinking." It retains the functions that did not branch off with draft (q.v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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