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[haft, hahft] /hæft, hɑft/
a handle, especially of a knife, sword, or dagger.
verb (used with object)
to furnish with a haft or handle; set in a haft.
Origin of haft
before 1000; Middle English; Old English hæft handle, literally, that which is taken, grasped; cognate with Latin captus, German Heft han-dle
Related forms
unhaft, verb (used with object) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for haft
Historical Examples
  • I hammered upon it with the haft of my knife—still the same hollow sound!

    The Boy Tar Mayne Reid
  • There it had been when the haft slipped from his hands, and there had it remained.

    Bruin Mayne Reid
  • I grasped the haft of my knife, and like a tiger stood cowering on the spring.

    The War Trail Mayne Reid
  • Lo, here is the knife that was struck in my side up to the haft.'

  • A limb snapped claws only inches away from his leg as he pushed down on the haft with all his strength.

    Storm Over Warlock Andre Norton
  • Three times he struck the shield with the haft and three times with the blade of his spear.

    Irish Fairy Tales Edmond Leamy
  • He compressed his lips, and moved his knife to see that the haft came rightly to his hand.

    The Firebrand S. R. Crockett
  • Thus arose the "haft qir,at," or seven readings of the Qurn, now recognised.

    The Faith of Islam Edward Sell
  • He had fallen on the knife, which had penetrated to the haft, killing him instantly.

    A Jacobite Exile G. A. Henty
  • But I tells you dis: Schults will haft nodding to do mit dem.

British Dictionary definitions for haft


the handle of an axe, knife, etc
(transitive) to provide with a haft
Derived Forms
hafter, noun
Word Origin
Old English hæft; related to Old Norse hapt, Old High German haft fetter, hefti handle
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 haft

Old English hæft "handle," related to hæft "fetter," from Proto-Germanic *haftjom (cf. Old Saxon haft "captured;" Dutch hecht, Old High German hefti, German Heft "handle;" German Haft "arrest"), from PIE *kap- "to grasp" (see capable). To haven other haeftes in hand "have other hafts in hand" was a 14c.-15c. way of saying "have other business to attend to."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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haft in the Bible

a handle as of a dagger (Judg. 3:22).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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