Definition of heft in English:



  • 1 Lift or carry (something heavy)

    ‘he lifted crates and hefted boxes’
    • ‘She hefted back a metal box with the words First Aid on the cover.’
    • ‘Alex continues to heft Susan through the grounds and out into the park where he has left a picnic rug and basket.’
    • ‘I didn't have time to mourn, for a heavy hand gripped the clothes on my back and hefted me up off the ground.’
    • ‘My favorite among them was an outtake from the bowling alley scene, where the nearsighted Julius goes down a row of balls attempting to select one before grabbing a small boy by the head and hefting him suddenly into midair.’
    • ‘Before I could dodge him he reached out and grabbed me, pulling me off my feet and hefting me up over his shoulder.’
    • ‘It had a layer of hardened leather stretched over back of it and in the center the shield was hollowed out allowing for a shoulder to fit in snugly when it was needed for ramming purposes or became too heavy to heft aloft with one arm.’
    • ‘Together they continued to heft him towards his dorm room with Taylor carrying his feet and Josh supporting his body at the shoulders.’
    • ‘Then, without warning, he hefted her out of the chair.’
    • ‘Isn't ‘let's end this foolishness once and for all’ the sort of thing you're meant to say while hefting a rather large sword?’
    • ‘Two armored beings stood over me, and I was hefted into the air.’
    • ‘He picked her up and hefted her onto his shoulder.’
    • ‘I walked back into my room and hefted a dark, heavy object.’
    • ‘Sometimes she emphasizes the physical effort involved in hefting the larger sculptures.’
    • ‘I reached out for the chair beside me, planting my palm firmly on the arm and hefting myself up.’
    • ‘He placed a foot on the first rung of the ladder on the side of the freighter and began to climb, hefting himself up onto the roof.’
    • ‘Nick was already hefting the cooler himself, sucking in his gut and trying to pretend it was feather-light.’
    • ‘Reluctantly, she hefted herself up and picked up the phone.’
    • ‘Theo came back out with a twelve-foot square tent in an incredibly heavy box and hefted it between them into the car.’
    • ‘He'd simply grabbed her by the waist and had hefted her over his shoulder, and she let him do so in utter bewilderment.’
    • ‘So being the gentleman he was, he pulled himself on stage, grabbed her, hefted her up on his shoulder and walked broadly down the steps.’
    lift, lift up, raise, raise up, heave, hoist, haul, manhandle
    carry, cart, lug, tote
    hump, yank
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Lift or hold (something) in order to test its weight.
      ‘Anne hefted the gun in her hand’
      • ‘I tore the box open and hefted one of the black weapons.’
      • ‘He grips the off-balance blade, and hefting its weight, he demonstrates some practical moves.’
      • ‘He hefted the bag to estimate the size of the catch.’
      • ‘I hefted it by the barrel, finding the weight somewhat reassuring: at least it'd make a satisfactory club.’
      • ‘When I was a young shooter reading the gun magazines, one common piece of advice was, ‘pick up and heft different guns, and buy the one that feels best.’’
      • ‘David picked it up, felt the weight of it, hefted it, tossed it up and down.’
      • ‘He picked his sword back up and hefted its weight before moving predatorily in the direction of the prone man.’
      • ‘He stopped, unbuckled it, and hefted it in his hands.’
      • ‘Then I started on the first of what are supposed to be a small number of frivolous presents, hefted it in my hand and found it to be rather heavier than is normal for frivolous.’
      • ‘He is gently hefting a throwing axe sent to him by a Finnish fan and he urges me to try it out on one of his trees.’
      • ‘The boy had picked up the stranger's dropped guns and he hefted them curiously before he handed them back.’
      • ‘He took it and hefted it in his hand, feeling the weight and inspecting the clear visor.’
      • ‘After a moment's looking over the problem he picked up a stone, hefted it, and then wacked everything back into place with a practised hand.’
      • ‘If you heft the egg afterward it's as light as feather, and not very filling when you're hungry; but a basketful of them would make quite a show and would bamboozle the unwary.’
      • ‘He hefted the club, testing its weight and balance.’
      • ‘She looked on in wide eyed astonishment as he hefted a fairly large, gray, leather-bound book, in his hands.’
      • ‘Dan hefted the pistol in his hand, watching the oncoming cavalrymen.’
      • ‘When I hefted it, the gun felt solid in my hand and took definite pressure on the trigger before the hammer clicked.’


North American
  • 1[mass noun] The weight of someone or something.

    ‘he was buckle-kneed from the heft of his staggering load’
    • ‘That's because athletes focus on the heft of the weight and on simply trying to move it, rather than zeroing in on the feel of the weight in the quads.’
    • ‘Gift-wrapped in thick brown paper tied with string, it had promising heft and solidity: a chemistry set with a real Bunsen burner, perhaps; certainly not anything boring to wear.’
    • ‘Every ounce of weight and heft removed from a woman's duty rig means she is that much more comfortable.’
    • ‘I remember the size, the stapled binding, the texture and heft of the paper, the cover just a step up from a plain brown wrapper, the dollar price-tag, and a general sense that the poetry had a flavor of the West Coast.’
    • ‘He likes to feel the heft of a weighty woman perching on his lap.’
    • ‘Everybody now wants to swagger into the departure lounge without their spine contorted by the sheer heft of their laptop case.’
    • ‘That seemed a bit lacking in heft, so I bulked it out with a random handful of paper from a disused notebook, put our names on it, stapled the pile up, and turned it in.’
    • ‘At 23.4 ounces, it has enough heft for a nice swing, but it won't wear you out on a long climb.’
    • ‘It's big and large and sprawling in its focus and physical heft as noted by other critics, but it's too bad the cover is a sad and tepid affair.’
    • ‘I'd begun filling out and putting on some muscle heft, helped by the weight set that Jeremy had bought for my fourteenth birthday.’
    • ‘The woman is trim, her pants held up by a narrow belt: not a hint of post-pregnancy heft.’
    • ‘Everything about them - their handsome appearance, their smooth, precise power and focusing adjustments and their solid heft - gives the impression of a quality product.’
    • ‘I didn't care for its lack of heft, but those with smaller hands might find it appealing.’
    • ‘This gave engineers the option of either creating a stiffer frame without adding heft or shedding weight without sacrificing strength.’
    • ‘And though outnumbered almost three to one, the men were hardly lacking in heft.’
    • ‘But don't be fooled by the relative heft of these two books.’
    • ‘It begins with their size and weight, their heft, and the way it feels in your hands.’
    • ‘I catch one the length and heft of a piece of firewood.’
    1. 1.1Ability or influence.
      ‘they lacked the political heft to get the formulation banned’
      • ‘The disapproving villagers are more of a presence than a force in the movie, and the dramatic heft resides in the relationships within the family.’
      • ‘I think he brings some weight and heft to the ticket.’
      • ‘What he needs more than his rivals is a compelling issue (maybe a critique of the administration's civil-liberties record) to give his candidacy heft.’
      • ‘But the picture has heft and power, fuelled by Russell's despair and self-loathing at the legacy of hate bequeathed to him by his father and grandfather: both cops.’
      • ‘Too often the film comes across more like a tribute to old-fashioned swashbuckling epics than a solid story in its own right, and the result is diverting enough but lacks dramatic heft.’
      • ‘Brazil and Mexico have enough demographic and economic heft to exert real influence in international affairs.’
      • ‘The sense of desperation came through in the language, while any heft there was in Monday's budget was achieved by detailing every new daycare space being funded and virtually every new mile of road being paved.’
      • ‘Consequently, the recording lacks heft, as only a few tracks register with any deep impact.’
      • ‘This trend lent intellectual heft to an earlier movement, the vocational education movement of the 20th century's first decades.’
      • ‘Ray may have intimacy issues but he's not a heartless playboy and Martin's intelligence adds heft to a role that's dangerously thin.’
      • ‘The film is very careful to give an accurate accounting of the man and all his intellectual heft.’
      • ‘He combines a passion for communities, working people and social justice with intellectual heft.’
      • ‘He is vetting potential nominees not only for their conservative philosophy but also for their intellectual heft.’
      • ‘Emotional truth, not the factual kind, is what these books seek to find, and here it is the authors' lack of detachment that adds heft to their stories.’
      • ‘It makes sense, I guess, that none of it is given great heft as the story flits from character to character.’
      • ‘True, America contains only about 4.5 percent of the world's total population, but sheer numbers of human beings are rarely a good indicator of comparative heft.’
      • ‘If only they didn't feel as if their heft and institutional weight conferred credibility or ingenuity, because it doesn't.’
      • ‘But it lacks the heft of the other works in the show and feels camp in this company.’
      • ‘It is about corporate heft and legal feistiness, along with the delaying tactics, the question of appeals and always the threat of taking the case to the civil courts.’
      • ‘So the reactionary viewpoint has a lot of intellectual heft these days, but it doesn't have much political heft.’


Late Middle English (as a noun): probably from heave, on the pattern of words such as cleft and weft.