Definition of waft in US English:

waft

verb

  • Pass or cause to pass easily or gently through or as if through the air.

    no object , with adverbial of direction ‘the smell of stale fat wafted out from the cafe’
    with object ‘each breeze would waft pollen around the house’
    • ‘Two nights before Christmas your nostrils would light up from the scents wafting in over the breeze.’
    • ‘Everyone laughed and chatted as they passed the dishes, a soft breeze from the ocean wafting up the mountainside.’
    • ‘Cool air wafted up from the breezes blowing outside, carrying the sounds of downtown New York City into my room.’
    • ‘Out in the bay the sun flickers on the gently lapping water as the scents of the offerings waft out to sea from the little lanterns and house doors.’
    • ‘There was a very fragrant bush with small purple flowers on it that wafted a candy-like scent.’
    • ‘I'm not one of those people who has to clap a wet cloth over his face when artificial scents waft his way, but I wish they'd stop making everything smell like something.’
    • ‘Passareil said nothing and the room went quiet except for the sounds of grief wafting up from below.’
    • ‘The island basks in year-round subtropical sunshine, wafted by gentle Atlantic breezes.’
    • ‘By early May the seeds of the dandelions will have been wafted away on breezes and will have deposited themselves in people's gardens - alas.’
    • ‘A business owner claims a foul stench wafting through his premises is driving disgusted customers away.’
    • ‘Sounds waft by or linger barely long enough to register as rhythmic or melodic phrases.’
    • ‘A rare breath of summer breeze wafts a small, white paper bag along the platform.’
    • ‘These summery scents will waft through your house, lifting your spirits.’
    • ‘The scent of wildflowers wafts through the air.’
    • ‘He was sitting in a traffic queue on York's eastern outskirts when the familiar sound of sirens wafted through the air.’
    • ‘I could hear the faint sounds of Van Morrison wafting from a car stereo in the parking lot.’
    • ‘The room was huge, and dust gently wafted down from skylights and settled on the objects in the room.’
    • ‘The comparatively open spaces made for a relaxed atmosphere as a very laid-back audience stretched out in the warm weather to enjoy the sounds wafting over from the main stage.’
    • ‘Fresh fruit hangs from the trees, which rustle pleasantly in the breeze, and the scent of organic herbs wafts from the perfectly manicured lawns.’
    • ‘Brush your hands against the plant and inhale the delightful scent wafting through the breeze.’
    drift, float, glide, whirl, travel, be carried, be borne, be conveyed, be transported
    convey, transport, transmit, carry, bear
    View synonyms

noun

  • 1A gentle movement of air.

    • ‘I trapped it behind a curtain, whipped the window open and then coaxed it out with gentle wafts and encouraging noises.’
    • ‘The pasture blew gently in the balmy waft of wind.’
    • ‘Crisp wafts of frozen breath puffed from his gritted teeth.’
    • ‘A waft of wind hit me, taking me back into the reality around me.’
    • ‘Wind turbines turn lazily in a waft of air, a frog croaks in a pond, a small white goat munches grass along the driveway and a waterwheel makes faint sloshing noises as it turns.’
    • ‘Richie opened the door to get out, and a cold waft of air blew in, together with the sound of the pouring rain outside.’
    • ‘As I concentrate harder, a waft of wind ruffles my hair and I sense divine inspiration.’
    • ‘Lily's fan blew a pleasant waft of cooler air our way, and I closed my eyes, enjoying the breeze.’
    • ‘Thus even a not-entirely-great movie like City by the Sea feels like wafts of fresh air.’
    current of air, rush of air, breath, whiff, waft, wind, breeze, gust, puff, blast, gale
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A scent or odor carried on a movement of air.
      • ‘There can be nothing more disgusting for a non-smoker than a meal punctuated by wafts of cigarette smoke from a neighbouring table.’
      • ‘Kai, the mouthwateringly fresh gardenia-based floral, has the delicate waft of a summer breeze.’
      • ‘Taking a deep breath, she noticed the faint waft of a musky eau de cologne in the air.’
      • ‘Within minutes the buns were in the oven, sending out wafts of spicy aromas.’
      • ‘Some of our strongest memories are triggered by the sudden waft of a particular scent.’
      • ‘As they come into Waterloo, there is a waft of a terrible stench.’
      • ‘For example, many of the ciders we've sampled have a waft of boysenberry and the distinct spicy aroma of cumin.’
      • ‘She stepped into the bathroom, still damp from the steam of the hot shower, and a waft of rose scent filled her nostrils.’
      • ‘I can hear the kids playing outside in the street and I can smell faint wafts of curry drifting up to my window.’
      • ‘Going closer to this dresser, I can smell feminine perfumes though there is a slight waft of male scent in the whole picture somewhere.’
      • ‘When I opened the jar, aside from the waft of fudge aroma that hit me, I noted how… well… solid the sauce was.’
      • ‘He said, breathing foul wafts of smoke into my face.’
      • ‘It worked a treat on my skin, but the intermittent wafts of coconut that tantalised me throughout the day, evocative of a holiday in Thailand, did my concentration no good whatsoever.’
      • ‘Still, there was a constant stream of cars that generated a mighty wind that carried generous wafts of exhaust fumes.’
      • ‘The sweep up to the front of the $300-a-night hotel is rich with wafts of untreated river water.’
      • ‘And what could be more wonderful at this time of year than the glorious sweet waft of baking coming from the kitchen?’
      • ‘A waft or two of fragrance from the right plants in the right places can turn a garden from ordinary to enchanting.’
      • ‘But now I smell wafts of lovely roast drifting from the kitchen.’
      • ‘As soon as we entered the shop I felt a waft of a wonderful aroma.’
      • ‘The wash is equally splendid with a middleweight body of fruit, plum and blackcurrant notes and a gentle waft of cedar rather than oak.’

Origin

Early 16th century (in the sense ‘escort a ship’): back-formation from obsolete wafter (used only by opponents of the practice) ‘armed convoy vessel’, from Low German, Dutch wachter, from wachten ‘to guard’. A sense ‘convey by water’ gave rise to the current use of the verb.

Pronunciation