c.1500, spelling variant of draught (q.v.) to reflect change in pronunciation. Among the senses that have gone with this form of the word in American English, the meaning "rough copy of a writing" (something "drawn") is attested from 14c.; that of "preliminary sketch from which a final copy is made" is from 1520s; that of "flow of a current of air" is from c.1770. Of beer from the 1830s, in reference to the method of "drawing" it from the cask. Sense in bank draft is from 1745. The meaning "a drawing off a group for special duty" is from 1703, in U.S. especially of military service; the verb in this sense first recorded 1714. Related: Drafted; drafting.
A measured portion of a liquid or aerosol medication; a dose.
A preliminary version of a book, speech, essay, or outline.
A system for selecting young men for compulsory military service, administered in the United States by the Selective Service System. At present the United States relies on a volunteer military and does not have a draft, though young men are required by law to register with the Selective Service. (See also conscientious objector and draft dodger.)
To drive close behind a vehicle so as to be drawn by reduced air pressure: The point person takes on the wind, allowing those behind him to draft and save as much as 20% of their energy (1970s+ Car racing)