Definition of waft in English:

waft

Pronunciation: /wɑːft//wɒft/

verb

  • 1(with reference to a scent, sound, etc.) pass or cause to pass gently through the air:

    [no object, with adverbial of direction] ‘the smell of stale fat wafted out from the cafe’
    [with object and adverbial of direction] ‘each breeze would waft pollen round the house’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Sounds waft by or linger barely long enough to register as rhythmic or melodic phrases.’
    • ‘He was sitting in a traffic queue on York's eastern outskirts when the familiar sound of sirens wafted through the air.’
    • ‘A business owner claims a foul stench wafting through his premises is driving disgusted customers away.’
    • ‘I could hear the faint sounds of Van Morrison wafting from a car stereo in the parking lot.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The scent of wildflowers wafts through the air.’
    • ‘A rare breath of summer breeze wafts a small, white paper bag along the platform.’
    • ‘There was a very fragrant bush with small purple flowers on it that wafted a candy-like scent.’
    • ‘Two nights before Christmas your nostrils would light up from the scents wafting in over the breeze.’
    • ‘The room was huge, and dust gently wafted down from skylights and settled on the objects in the room.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These summery scents will waft through your house, lifting your spirits.’
    • ‘The island basks in year-round subtropical sunshine, wafted by gentle Atlantic breezes.’
    • ‘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
    1. 1.1[no object, with adverbial of direction] Move with a gliding motion:
      ‘models wafted down the catwalk in filmy organza skirts’
      • ‘Then she quickly wafted away, like visiting royalty.’
      • ‘The whitish clouds wafted slowly down the street.’
      • ‘The RX400h wafts along in leather and wood-bound luxury with the kind of equipment specification you expect of a luxury car.’
      • ‘Expounding and elucidating as she wafts across the paper, Clio floats like the ribbons around her hair and waist.’
      • ‘Solanki had that marvellous hundred and since then he's been wafting around.’

noun

  • 1A gentle movement of air.

    • ‘As I concentrate harder, a waft of wind ruffles my hair and I sense divine inspiration.’
    • ‘Richie opened the door to get out, and a cold waft of air blew in, together with the sound of the pouring rain outside.’
    • ‘Lily's fan blew a pleasant waft of cooler air our way, and I closed my eyes, enjoying the breeze.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A waft of wind hit me, taking me back into the reality around me.’
    • ‘Thus even a not-entirely-great movie like City by the Sea feels like wafts of fresh air.’
    • ‘The pasture blew gently in the balmy waft of wind.’
    • ‘Crisp wafts of frozen breath puffed from his gritted teeth.’
    • ‘I trapped it behind a curtain, whipped the window open and then coaxed it out with gentle wafts and encouraging noises.’
    current of air, rush of air, breath, whiff, waft, wind, breeze, gust, puff, blast, gale
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A scent carried in the air:
      ‘from the kitchen comes a waft of roasting meat’
      • ‘Within minutes the buns were in the oven, sending out wafts of spicy aromas.’
      • ‘But now I smell wafts of lovely roast drifting from the kitchen.’
      • ‘As they come into Waterloo, there is a waft of a terrible stench.’
      • ‘When I opened the jar, aside from the waft of fudge aroma that hit me, I noted how… well… solid the sauce was.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As soon as we entered the shop I felt a waft of a wonderful aroma.’
      • ‘He said, breathing foul wafts of smoke into my face.’
      • ‘For example, many of the ciders we've sampled have a waft of boysenberry and the distinct spicy aroma of cumin.’
      • ‘And what could be more wonderful at this time of year than the glorious sweet waft of baking coming from the kitchen?’
      • ‘There can be nothing more disgusting for a non-smoker than a meal punctuated by wafts of cigarette smoke from a neighbouring table.’
      • ‘Some of our strongest memories are triggered by the sudden waft of a particular scent.’
      • ‘I can hear the kids playing outside in the street and I can smell faint wafts of curry drifting up to my window.’
      • ‘The sweep up to the front of the $300-a-night hotel is rich with wafts of untreated river water.’
      • ‘The wash is equally splendid with a middleweight body of fruit, plum and blackcurrant notes and a gentle waft of cedar rather than oak.’
      • ‘She stepped into the bathroom, still damp from the steam of the hot shower, and a waft of rose scent filled her nostrils.’
      • ‘Still, there was a constant stream of cars that generated a mighty wind that carried generous wafts of exhaust fumes.’
      • ‘Going closer to this dresser, I can smell feminine perfumes though there is a slight waft of male scent in the whole picture somewhere.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A waft or two of fragrance from the right plants in the right places can turn a garden from ordinary to enchanting.’
  • 2Nautical
    historical A knotted ensign, garment, etc. displayed by a ship as a signal.

    • ‘A signal of distress is accentuated by making it into a weft, which is done by knotting it in the middle.’
    • ‘We heard the ship fire a gun, and make a waft with her ensign as a signal for the boat to come on board.’

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:

waft

/wɑːft//wɒft/