Why was clemency trending last week?


[heft] /hɛft/
weight; heaviness:
It was a rather flimsy chair, without much heft to it.
significance or importance.
Archaic. the bulk or main part.
verb (used with object)
to test the weight of by lifting and balancing:
He hefted the spear for a few moments, and then flung it at the foe.
to heave; hoist.
Origin of heft
1550-60; heave + -t, variant of -th1
Related forms
hefter, noun
unhefted, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for heft
  • Certainly, the decision provided legal heft and the protection of the highest court against challenges to forced sterilization.
  • It seems to have enough heft to be worth me reading about, but not enough for a feature article yet.
  • Its fist tightens on the morning star in his hand, and it begins to heft it.
  • Thus all these tiny scratches give us breadth and heft and depth.
  • Over that period the heft of emerging economies has increased dramatically.
  • Given the country's growth and economic heft, that is probably inevitable.
  • The new generics giants have the heft to invest in such products-and are doing so.
  • The firm combines the heft of a big company with the scrappiness of a start-up.
  • On many measures, the emerging economies now have more heft and reach than the developed ones.
  • Working against these trends was the heft of one chain in particular.
British Dictionary definitions for heft


verb (transitive)
to assess the weight of (something) by lifting
to lift
(US) weight
(US) the main part
Derived Forms
hefter, noun
Word Origin
C19: probably from heave, by analogy with thieve, theft, cleave, cleft
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 heft

mid-15c., "weight, heaviness, quality of weight," from heave on analogy of thieve/theft, weave/weft, etc.; also influenced by heft, obsolete past participle of heave.


"to lift," 1660s, from heft (n.). Related: Hefted; hefting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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