Definition of draught in English:


(North American, US draft)


  • 1A current of cool air in a room or other confined space.

    ‘heavy curtains at the windows cut out draughts’
    • ‘A draught from an opened window crawled through the apartment, rustling papers and the leaves of plants.’
    • ‘She quietly opened the window and let herself get drenched in the raindrops that the draught carried into the room.’
    • ‘Cold air entered freely through the broken window, draughts blasted from the roof and filled gaps between the walls and stone floor.’
    • ‘Since there is no airflow forcing the heat into the rooms, there are no drafts or unpleasant air currents, and wall and ceiling surfaces stay cleaner.’
    • ‘She slid open the windows and was greeted by the smell of fresh flowers, as the cool draft blew past the tastefully positioned pot of geraniums just inside the window sill.’
    • ‘He offered her a small wave, then left, shutting the door so quickly that it blew a draught across the room.’
    • ‘We sat down, noting with interest the cold drafts blowing hard through an airless smoke-filled room.’
    • ‘A draft blew into the room and I shivered, partially from the cool air, partly from the dream.’
    • ‘The medical bay was actually an old khaki army tent, so whenever the breeze blew a draught came through the front entrance flaps.’
    • ‘The flames flickered as another draft rushed past them and a shadow crept along the wall, eyes darting back and forth suspiciously.’
    • ‘Use candles in ventilated rooms, but avoid drafts to lessen dripping and blackening.’
    • ‘Loft insulation prevents heat from rising and going straight through the roof, while draught proofing cuts out unpleasant draughts from around windows, external doors, letterboxes, keyholes and cat flaps.’
    • ‘There were broken windows, the draught ran straight through it, the damp had gone in.’
    • ‘He stood for a minute just inside the doorway, through which a cooling draught flowed.’
    • ‘She pulled her cloak closer to ward off the damp and draft.’
    • ‘An icy draught needled across the room, wending its way up the chimney and leaving me shivering violently in its wake.’
    • ‘Moving air causes the smoke to waver, and you will feel a draft when it cools your hand.’
    • ‘A chill draft blew through the corridor outside her apartment.’
    • ‘A slight draft was blowing through a cracked window.’
    • ‘He filled his lungs with the refreshing draught of the cool air, exhaling his tiredness in each gulp.’
    current of air, rush of air, breath, whiff, waft, wind, breeze, gust, puff, blast, gale
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  • 2A single act of drinking or inhaling.

    ‘she downed the remaining beer in one draught’
    • ‘He poured himself a drink and leaned back in his chair leisurely and took several long draughts.’
    • ‘She washed down the small gob of starch with a draft of spring water, grateful that her stomach would be pacified for an hour, long enough for sleep to come.’
    • ‘Then, taking a deep breath, she tipped it back, swallowing the contents in one draught.’
    • ‘Donal made a show of taking a long draught of his drink.’
    • ‘‘So,’ the dragon paused to take a draft of his drink, his red lips pursing as they passed over the lip of his mug.’
    • ‘Then they gave him a groat, which he put in his pocket; a crust of bread, which he ate; and a full bowl of ale, which he drank off at a draught.’
    • ‘I took a long draught of the drink he had brought me at so high a price, looking at him over the rim of the glass.’
    • ‘He took a draught of his beer and thought for a short spell.’
    • ‘Stooping down, he placed the cup into his father's shaky hands and watched him take a slow draught, dribbling the water down his stubbly, unshaven chin.’
    • ‘He ended, and emptied his tankard in a single draught.’
    • ‘Drinking a gallon-bottle-full, at a draught, is said to be no uncommon feat: a mere boyish trick, which will not bear to be bragged of.’
    • ‘Danny accepts it with a grateful nod and drinks a long draught, trying to banish the shakes from his body.’
    • ‘The doors swung open and Midori looked up, her eyes narrowing slightly. ‘Soldiers,’ she thought, finishing off her drink with a smooth draught.’
    • ‘He filled three cups from a large flask, passing them round and drinking a long draught from his own, before introducing himself as Seth.’
    • ‘He took a long draught of his beer, wiping foam from his mouth, as he absently eavesdropped on other people's conversations.’
    1. 2.1 The amount swallowed or inhaled in a draught.
      ‘he took deep draughts of oxygen into his lungs’
      • ‘He took another deep draught of the morning air and ducked back down into the shelter offered by the cabin.’
      • ‘‘You, sir, are a demon,’ she declared, taking a draught of the fiery liquid.’
      • ‘She shook her head and lifted the glass to her lips again, still holding Meg's drink down as she drew a long draught and set the cup back down.’
      • ‘‘Actually I would have preferred gold for a change,’ Matt said, downing a good draught of his beer, wearing a smile once more when he talked to his friend.’
      • ‘He produced a bottle of wine, took a deep draught, and burst into a heartfelt rendition of Je Ne Regrette Rien.’
      • ‘My lifeforce dwindles as she sips from the fountain of knowledge when she should be drinking in great drafts.’
      • ‘He slowed, drawing a draught of brown-red liquid in a weather-proof seal-skin flask, the fire-drink warmed across his thirsty gullet.’
      • ‘Families were closely knit units a the time and grandmothers helped to make the boxty and potato cakes which were covered with freshly churned butter and eaten heartily and all washed down with draughts of hot strong tea.’
      • ‘He took a deep draught from his mug, setting it down empty.’
      • ‘She waited and I supposed I was expected to drink so I took a deep draught and could only just prevent myself from gagging.’
      • ‘‘Another groom, another failure,’ said Mr. Miller, taking a deep draught of beer.’
      • ‘During his final year, while out walking on a hot day, he arrived at a well, and in the absence of anything stronger, downed copious draughts of cold water.’
      • ‘She unclasped a wineskin from her shoulder and drank a deep draught.’
      • ‘He saw them and sniffed a deep draught of air into his lungs.’
      • ‘Or, even better, if you're lounging in your personal plunge pool on the deck outside your room quite often a long grey trunk will siphon out a considerable draught as the elephants take a drink.’
      • ‘I raised the canteen again and this time took a deep draught.’
      • ‘A concentration of ‘Class B’ cigarettes of that magnitude would have surely transformed me in that first deep draught of their gamma ray smoke.’
      • ‘She reached out and picked up the mug, taking a deep draught of it.’
      • ‘Time to pull myself together, swig a good deep draught of Andrew's Liver Salts, and get cracking.’
      • ‘Ian's breathing becomes more and more ragged as he drags draught after draught of air deep into his lungs.’
      gulp, drink, swallow, mouthful
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    2. 2.2archaic, literary A quantity of a liquid with medicinal properties.
      ‘a sleeping draught’
      • ‘Gesturing to the apprentice, the Apothecary went back through the curtain with the assorted bottled healing draughts.’
      • ‘Dinah and Dorinda use a witch's draught to turn themselves into kangaroos, begin talking to the animals in the zoo, and make friends with the puma and a falcon.’
      • ‘I suspected Claudius had mixed a draught with his medicine.’
      • ‘Before Luke's horrified eyes, Jaid swallowed the immortality draught and, with a shocked gasped, collapsed onto the ground before him, unconscious.’
      • ‘There was a boyish grin on Raphael's face, something that he often had when he was making draughts or medicines for his own amusement.’
      concoction, mixture, brew, elixir, philtre, drink, decoction
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  • 3The depth of water needed to float a ship.

    ‘the shallow draught enabled her to get close inshore’
    • ‘These were flat-bottomed craft with a shallow draft, and were lowered from the davits of larger troop-carrying merchantmen, like lifeboats.’
    • ‘It will be capable of operating in shallow waters since its draft will be about 10 feet.’
    • ‘The shallow draft of 0.9m to 2.3m allows the ship to access very shallow waters denied to other vessels.’
    • ‘The shallow draught of these ships meant that they were able to reach far inland by river and stream, striking and moving on before local forces could muster.’
    • ‘Both were small and fast boat with a shallow drafts.’
    • ‘One was a liveaboard whose vessel's draft was too deep for his boat to move up into Pensacola's shallow bays.’
    • ‘It would be impossible to design a boat with shallow draft, a full keel, and considerable volume forward and have it sail efficiently to weather by modern standards.’
    • ‘Taylor said the ship's draught varied between nine metres in the front and 12m at the stern.’
    • ‘The vessel's shallow draft and water jet propulsion give it tremendous flexibility and maneuverability over conventional ship forms.’
    • ‘Bowring added that seafarers without visas were banned from leaving their vessel, even to stand on the dock to check the draught of the ship.’
    • ‘The Baynunah corvettes will have a stealthy superstructure and a low draught which allows operation in shallow waters.’
    • ‘Currently the new route is marked with temporary buoys and is open to vessels with a draught of less than 10 metres.’
    • ‘These HSVs have already proven their worth as transports, and with their shallow drafts, as Special Forces insertion platforms.’
    • ‘With shallow drafts, these vessels will have many more off-loading options than larger, single-hulled vessels.’
    • ‘‘Most of the ships have a draught of 9,5 metres or less and the harbour can go to a depth of 10,7m,’ he said.’
    • ‘Longships were of extremely seaworthy design, and the addition of sails made very long voyages feasible, while the shallow draught meant that raiders could penetrate far inland by river.’
    • ‘Many factors influence the severity of the scar, including water depth, size and draft of the boat, and whether it has single or twin engines.’
    • ‘In another channel between Lewis and a major puffin colony, mariners must sail tankers above a trench which is only a mile wide and 70 feet deep - only 10 feet more than the draught of many oil tankers.’
    • ‘The docking facilities must be big enough to cope with the 26 foot draught of Liberty ships and at the same time provide sheltered water for smaller vessels, such as landing craft, to operate.’
    • ‘The LMSR and fast sealift ships have a draft of about 37 feet and a sustainable speed of about 25 knots.’
  • 4The drawing in of a fishing net.

    1. 4.1 The fish taken at one drawing; a catch.
      • ‘When the loops closed, both sets of men struggled like the Lord's Apostles to pull the draught of fishes ashore.’


  • 1attributive Denoting beer or cider served from a barrel or tank rather than from a bottle or can.

    ‘draught ale’
    • ‘The festival provides an opportunity to relish the distinctive flavours of this dish along with barrels of chilled draught beer accompanied by soul-stirring live ghazals.’
    • ‘Well Stella have started selling nine pints of draught lager in a keg, 12 hours in the fridge and Robert is your father's brother.’
    • ‘Dutch fans of English draught beer travel over from Holland, via nearby Harwich and the scenic Mayflower Line.’
    • ‘Sales of draught beer and cider have fallen by 11.5% in the first four months of this year in pubs, according to figures from the Irish Brewers' Association.’
    • ‘Guinness will cost £3 a pint, with draught lager £3.25.’
    • ‘A set of English-designed draught beer dispensers have been installed and the Clock claims that truly cold beer is now on tap.’
    • ‘And she expects to expand the range of draught beers on offer, with the emphasis on local breweries such as Malton, York and Cropton.’
    • ‘Your bar is clean, smart, funky and sells wonderful breaded mushrooms and decent draught beer.’
    • ‘The micro-brewery at the Foresters Arms at Carlton-in-Coverdale produces draught ales and a new range of bottled beers which will be unveiled next month.’
    • ‘That is the name of the draught beer specially brewed to mark the 20th birthday of York Beer And Wine Shop.’
    • ‘This left publicans to take the heat after the brewers pushed up the price of draught beer.’
    • ‘Then the draught beer goes to Black Sheep-supplied pubs from July.’
    • ‘And on a nice day it's a great place to quaff a large glass of frothy draught beer.’
    • ‘Most Irish pubs receive deliveries of draught beer at least three times a week, which means that Irish supplies could run out within days.’
    • ‘Bottled beers from Traquair House are available at Castle Venlaw and the introduction of the brewery's draught beers in the hotel, which is being considered, would be most welcome.’
    • ‘A block away, Cheetah's Topless Bar sells draught beer for under a dollar.’
    • ‘Serving green draught beer and plenty of Guinness through the night, The Kilkenny is a welcome addition to Walking Street's pub scene, with plenty of cool beer and good entertainment.’
    • ‘I had a pint of Castle Eden traditional draught ale to wash it all down.’
    • ‘Despite the extensive wine list, my companion and I quaffed large glasses of draught beer with our food, as the afternoon was unusually warm and sunny.’
    • ‘Patrons who liked Carlsberg were once treated to an alternative draught beer called Probably and other tongue-in-cheek variations on popular brand names.’
  • 2attributive Denoting an animal used for pulling heavy loads.

    ‘a draught horse’
    • ‘In return, I'll supply you with a wagon filled with supplies and the draught animals to pull it.’
    • ‘Not only did they provide milk for dairy purposes, but they also were used as draught animals to pull ploughs and carts.’
    • ‘It is the basis for a ‘virtuous circle’ by which a tenant who possessed draught animals was busy only one day per week, in exchange for the work that his plough team carried out on the arable lands of the estate.’
    • ‘The number of horses was scarcely up to the average, the heavy draught horses being not quite so plentiful.’
    • ‘He was diminutive, and how he managed to lift the heavy harness on the draught horses for ploughing was more than I could understand.’
    • ‘One day he and Gertie were going down the Valley Road to Akaroa when the local carrier was coming up the valley with his six horse team of draught horses and wagon.’
    • ‘Both were photographed last week inspecting the five year old draught horse Boru, which is the newest addition to the Garda Mounted Unit.’
    • ‘So head on out to Casino Showgrounds on May 1 for a chance to meet John and his mates, including the draught horses.’
    • ‘Though the use of the horse as a draught animal was spreading, this was of marginal importance.’
    • ‘Breeds intended as draught cattle are generally very large and carry a high proportion of lean meat.’
    • ‘For the military with an ample supply of draught animals the roads offered few problems but for the less able the steep ascents from a valley floor over high passes were taxing.’
    • ‘And there was no mistaking who were the thoroughbreds and who were the draught horses in Portlaoise on Saturday.’
    • ‘The best distance swimmers are the thoroughbreds of the pool, but if you don't manage them carefully you could end up with a stable of draught horses.’
    • ‘In 1954, British Railways had stopped using the Nelson Street stables for their draught horses.’
    • ‘It is used as both a draught dog and companion in its country of origin.’
    • ‘In 1943 only 58% of the pre-war stock of draught animals remained.’
    • ‘She was given a warm welcome by farmers at the championships and even tried her hand at ploughing with two Irish draught mares, owned by brothers Joe and Padraig Fahy, of Corrandulla, Co Galway.’
    • ‘Or, to really get back to Ireland's roots, take a trip on a jaunting cart, which costs just £8 each and is pulled by Irish draught horses, specially bred for their strength and speed.’
    • ‘If this was a wagon, where were the draught beasts?’
    • ‘When the draught horses started working 7 days a week, half of them died.’


  • feel the draught

    • informal Experience an adverse change in one's financial circumstances.

      ‘the high street shops will feel the draught most keenly’
      • ‘The smaller ones, especially those with a tight industry or sector focus, will feel the draft.’
      • ‘We're in the grip of an unexpected ceasefire: for the past five seasons, at least one big boss man had felt the draught of the revolving door by now.’
      • ‘Most pawns were wiped out in the process as well, and it seemed that both Kings were feeling the draft.’
      • ‘Many prestigious departments are now feeling the draft.’
  • on draught

    • (of beer or cider) ready to be drawn from a barrel or tank; not bottled or canned.

      • ‘In a pub, where the beer is on draught, most servers will be happy to let you have a taste of a brand that's new to you.’
      • ‘Catering for the area's ever-growing number of up and coming professionals, there is a wonderful wine list including top champagnes and Freedom organic beer on draught.’
      • ‘As well as your standard Stella, John Smiths Smooth, Guinness and Budweiser on draught it also has San Miguel, plenty of bottles if that's what you prefer, and a decent wine list.’
      • ‘Beck's introduced its beer on draught for a trial period but it was not a great success, partly because the brand has suffered from a lack of heavyweight advertising support.’
      • ‘Irish sales of Heineken beers on draught have slowed in the past six months, as drinkers switch to off-sales products.’
      • ‘The ale will be unveiled at the trust's own beer festival next month before going on general sale, on draught, in local pubs.’
      • ‘Pivo is the best bar in Edinburgh with great beer on draught.’
      • ‘There are four beers on draught and the selection will change regularly to bring members the best from around the world.’
      • ‘A beer celebrating the life of Arkell's Brewery chairman Peter Arkell is being sold on draught as well as from bottles.’
      • ‘Tennant's, for example, is supplying Labatt's beer on draught as a replacement to Carlsberg.’
      on draught, cask-conditioned, real-ale, from barrels, not bottled, not canned
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Middle English (in the sense ‘drawing, pulling’; also ‘something drawn, a load’): from Old Norse dráttr, of Germanic origin; related to German Tracht, also to draw. Compare with draft.