Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Mad; crazy.
  • adj. Foolish; stupid.
  • adj. Scots Frolicsome.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. insane, mad
  • adj. silly
  • adj. stupid

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Stupid; foolish; idiotic; also, delirious; insane.
  • adj. Gay; playful; frolicsome.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Simple; stupid; foolish; weak-minded; silly: applied to persons or things.
  • Insane.
  • Playful; frolicsome.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. informal or slang terms for mentally irregular

Etymologies

Middle English dafte, foolish, from Old English gedæfte, meek.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English dæfte (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • "A gentleman who signs himself Eboracensis (whose letter has been published) and who is more ingenuous in his acknowledgments of the few merits we can boast of, than our other correspondents, finds fault with us for saying, that in the northern counties of England, young frolicksome persons who act madly or extravagantly, are called daft: ' On the contrary (says Mr Eboracensis) here in Yorkshirem a person is called daft, when (instead of acting madly or extravagantly) he is scarce able either to act or even speak at all ---in a public company; insomuch, that here a daft or sheepish person are synonimous terms.' We are sorry we must differ from this gentleman in a point of fact, for such is the provincial signification of a word; and perhaps we were a little wanting in precision when our reference for the meaning of the word, in general, was to the northern counties of England. Neither shall we dispute that in the parts where Eboracensis lives the word daft may signify a sheepish person. We cannot, however, retract the meaning we have fixed to the word, and we insist that it is common in the northern parts of the island. We could for what we advance, appeal to Mr and Mrs Ogilvie's trial, where the word occurs precisely in the sense we have given it ."
    The critical review, or annals of literature, Volume 21 page 240. http://books.google.ca/books?id=dIpKAAAAcAAJ 1766

    July 15, 2013