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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
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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for quaff
  • They quaff Portuguese vinho in pubs.
  • Prosecco is not a special-occasion quaff; it's a refresher, especially on a warm summer afternoon or evening.
  • Tourists quaff large amounts of the stuff but these days they are drinking cheaper, if not less.
  • Hot chocolate, the quintessential winter quaff, deserves the best ingredients and a knowledgeable maker.
  • However, the quaff of choice at the bar seemed to be beer.
  • Many drink beer, but few quaff the organic kind.
  • Best of all is hot tea, poured generously, and a welcome quaff on a cold winter's night.
  • But as with so much of wine lore, the notion of Beaujolais as a simple quaff needs to be put to sleep.
  • People quaff two servings a day, double the national average.
  • Reduction or elimination of the alcohol tax would certainly make it easier for folks to have that daily quaff or two.
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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