Definition of haft in US English:



  • The handle of a knife, ax, or spear.

    • ‘She made a pillow of her cloak and laid her own knife under it with the haft sticking out below her chin.’
    • ‘As long as the pressure is applied in a forward direction, the tip is secure in the haft.’
    • ‘Cutouts in the central blade and the flats of the axe blades gave the weapon a lethal, even vicious look while reducing the mass of the larger blade to match its smaller twin on the opposite end of the haft.’
    • ‘The ant lunged at him, its mandibles clamping down on the haft of the ax.’
    • ‘Sprinting up the slope, Amy whirled the spear above her head, and just when she reached the pair, got a hold of the haft with both hands, and delivered a blow directed right at the back of Ashley's head.’
    • ‘Tips remained in their natural form and were made into handles or hafts.’
    • ‘His spear standing proud as it bit its head deep into the dirt, the haft glowing ominously in a color not usually associated with wood.’
    • ‘Caidryn stares at the broken haft in her hand and cries even harder.’
    • ‘The knife sported an obsidian blade mounted to a bone haft, the edge still viciously sharp even after years of storage.’
    • ‘The hafts of the smaller axes were between 60-90 cm long with a blade about 7.5-150 cm wide.’
    • ‘She ducked its lethal blade, then latched a grip on the weapon's long haft.’
    • ‘Slowly, Joshua placed both his hands on the haft of the spear, just above the point, and pushed upward.’
    • ‘The multiple notches may also represent hafting adjustments, for example, as the result of tool breakage or attempts to balance hafts.’
    • ‘Just as he lifted the heavy haft of the axe-handle above his head, two women entered the clearing he was working in.’
    • ‘Well worn leather was braided around the haft to make a comfortable grip.’
    • ‘Before the scythe could get halfway through its arc, the void-sword was flashing through the air, severing the long haft of the farm tool.’
    • ‘His hands were steady upon the haft of his lance.’
    • ‘The knife second from the right, with its elaborate carved ivory haft, exemplifies a small but distinguished group of carved handles found on cutlery from several European countries.’
    • ‘It seems that the head of my axe has loosened from its haft.’
    • ‘Its length is approximately 35 mm and the haft width is about 15 mm.’
    handle, shaft, shank, hilt, butt, stock, grip, handgrip, helve
    View synonyms


[with object]often as adjective hafted
  • Provide (a blade, ax head, or spearhead) with a haft.

    • ‘And lastly, the invention of stereotyped ‘assembly line’ tools (sophisticated symmetrical bifacial tools) that were hafted to a handle, took place only 200,000 years ago.’
    • ‘Excluded from the small tool category are hafted bifaces, hoes/adzes, large, ovate disk scrapers, chert hammerstones, larger chisels, wedges, and large bifacial knives/scrapers.’
    • ‘Thus, in this small set, notched points and those hafted onto foreshafts are substantially smaller than contracting-stemmed points.’
    • ‘Experiments found that contracting-stemmed bifaces can function as hafted knives but are effective only if the haft is set with an adhesive such as pine pitch.’
    • ‘The multiple notches may also represent hafting adjustments, for example, as the result of tool breakage or attempts to balance hafts.’
    • ‘The Mund assemblage, on the other hand, contained no blades, and tools generally were sparse, consisting mostly of manuported hafted bifaces and bifacial scraper fragments.’
    • ‘The traditional value of the blades was clearly recognized by their Aboriginal ‘collectors’, who sought to exploit it by hafting a resin handle in the traditional way.’
    • ‘Clark attributes this change to the development of hafting, attaching stone cutting edges to wood.’
    • ‘The first set of modifications include a series of regular, uniform notches on the ventral side of the distal end of the scapula, suggesting it had been hafted or mounted for use as a digging tool or hoe.’
    • ‘For instance, when hafted, much of the morphological variation of projectile points is obscured, while the lithic raw material remains visible.’
    • ‘Consideration of how straight- and contracting-stemmed points might have been hafted is initially confounding.’
    • ‘Notching flakes are produced when putting hafting notches in stone tools.’
    • ‘Archaeologists discovered a number of perishable items from this period-basketry, a hafted knife, roasted turnips in hearths, and beds of woven twigs and leaves-that would have been lost in an exposed site.’
    • ‘It parallels a formal bifacial tool tradition that includes such artifacts as hafted bifaces, ovate scrapers, large leaf-shaped and triangular knives, gouges and wedges, chert disks, and hoes/adzes.’
    • ‘The war axe is obviously derived from the earliest unhafted hand axes but, once hafted, the axe became as effective a weapon of war as it had been a domestic tool.’
    • ‘The boys have found some information on the internet that has led them to believe it is a hafted core axe, between 5,000 and 6,000 years old, but they would like it confirmed by an expert.’
    • ‘Among the debris in the buried concentration was a small, shallow side notched biface which has been identified as a hafted biface.’
    • ‘He hafted a series of replicated contracting-stemmed bifaces to notched wooden handles using adhesives of varying tensile strength; one was lashed only with deer sinew.’
    • ‘Indeed, when hafted lithic tools were broken or became worn out, trips to flint or chert sources would have been necessary.’
    • ‘The Eagles Reach rock art includes stencils of hands, arms, ancient boomerangs and hafted axes, which were probably created by spraying ochre with the mouth over and around the objects.’


Old English hæft, of Germanic origin: related to Dutch heft, hecht and German Heft, also to heave.