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[kwof, kwaf, kwawf] /kwɒf, kwæf, kwɔf/
verb (used without object)
to drink a beverage, especially an intoxicating one, copiously and with hearty enjoyment.
verb (used with object)
to drink (a beverage) copiously and heartily:
We spent the whole evening quaffing ale.
an act or instance of quaffing.
a beverage quaffed.
Origin of quaff
First recorded in 1515-25; origin uncertain
Related forms
quaffer, noun
outquaff, verb (used with object)
unquaffed, adjective
1. swallow, gulp, swig, guzzle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for quaff
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Strollers come from the town to quaff the freshening breeze.

  • I laugh with them, I quaff with them, I let them rob me; but that's all.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service
  • He must beware how he presume yet to quaff the volatile and fiery spirit.

    Zanoni Edward Bulwer Lytton
  • He handed Carpenter a glass and each drank off his cocktail at a quaff.

    The Bishop of Cottontown John Trotwood Moore
  • I rest under the shade of the corozo palm, and quaff the wine of the acrocomia.

    The War Trail Mayne Reid
  • Every morsel and every quaff sharpened the craving for more.

    The Weird Orient Henry Iliowizi
  • "Meet me on the day it is up and let me see you quaff your first Manhattan," he said, laughingly.

    A New Sensation Albert Ross
  • Did they quaff it in full draughts or did they inhale it through calumets?

    Myths of the Rhine X. B. Saintine
  • "I am hungry and weary, and desire to quaff from the wine horn," the other replied.

    Wulnoth the Wanderer Herbert Escott-Inman
British Dictionary definitions for quaff


/kwɒf; kwɑːf/
to drink heartily or in one draught
Derived Forms
quaffable, adjective
quaffer, noun
Word Origin
C16: perhaps of imitative origin; compare Middle Low German quassen to eat or drink excessively
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 quaff

1510s (implied in quaffer), perhaps imitative, or perhaps from Low German quassen "to overindulge (in food and drink)," with -ss- misread as -ff-. Related: Quaffed; quaffing. The noun is attested by 1570s, from the verb.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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