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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 quaffing
Historical Examples
  • quaffing it down, and betaking himself to bed, under its somniferous influence, the Wye waterman is soon in the land of dreams.

    Gwen Wynn Mayne Reid
  • A leathern pitcher, called a black jack, used by our homely ancestors for quaffing their ale.

  • quaffing his fill from one of these, he rested a few minutes, for he had been laboring unceasingly for hours.

    In the Pecos Country Edward Sylvester Ellis (AKA Lieutenant R.H. Jayne)
  • Beneath it sat the gods, quaffing the precious soma, whereby they preserved their immortality.

    The Sacred Tree J. H. Philpot
  • From the top of the stairs leading down to ringside, he saw Freddy quaffing more ale and flirting with the wench.

    Makers Cory Doctorow
  • In that sacrifice Indra became intoxicated with quaffing the Soma, and the Brahmanas, with the gifts they received.

  • "Aramai yourself, with that kettle of cold water," quoth I, quaffing a sip to his infernal majesty's health and spirits.

    Los Gringos H. A. (Henry Agustus) Wise
  • I accepted the invitation, and without delay we were seated and quaffing the wine of Bordeaux in the guest-room of the Falcon.

    Cressy and Poictiers John G. (John George) Edgar
  • quaffing nectar at mess with gods golden dishes, all ambrosial.

    Ulysses James Joyce
  • So icy cold were its waters that on quaffing them he fell to the ground, almost insensible.

British Dictionary definitions for quaffing


/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 quaffing



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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