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waft

[waft, wahft] /wæft, wɑft/
verb (used with object)
1.
to carry lightly and smoothly through the air or over water:
The gentle breeze wafted the sound of music to our ears.
2.
to send or convey lightly, as if in flight:
The actress wafted kisses to her admirers in the audience.
3.
Obsolete. to signal to, summon, or direct by waving.
verb (used without object)
4.
to float or be carried, especially through the air:
The sound wafted on the breeze. The music wafted across the lake.
noun
5.
a sound, odor, etc., faintly perceived:
a waft of perfume.
6.
a wafting movement; light current or gust:
a waft of air.
7.
the act of wafting.
8.
Also, waif. Nautical. a signal given by waving a flag.
Origin
late Middle English
1535-1545
1535-45; back formation from late Middle English waughter armed escort vessel < Dutch or Low German wachter watchman; in some senses confused with waff
Related forms
wafter, noun
unwafted, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for wafts

waft

/wɑːft; wɒft/
verb
1.
to carry or be carried gently on or as if on the air or water
noun
2.
the act or an instance of wafting
3.
something, such as a scent, carried on the air
4.
a wafting motion
5.
(nautical) Also called waif. (formerly) a signal flag hoisted furled to signify various messages depending on where it was flown
Derived Forms
waftage, noun
Word Origin
C16 (in obsolete sense: to convey by ship): back formation from C15 wafter a convoy vessel, from Middle Dutch wachter guard, from wachten to guard; influenced by waff
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for wafts

waft

v.

1510s, "to carry over water," back-formation from obsolete wafter "convoy ship" (late 15c.), from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German wachter "a guard," from wachten "to guard," related to waken "rouse from sleep" (see wake (n.1)). The meaning "pass through air or space, float" is first attested 1704, and possibly shows some influence of northern dialect waff "cause to move to and fro" (1510s), a variant of wave. Related: Wafted; wafting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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