from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To drink (a beverage) heartily.
  • intransitive verb To drink a liquid heartily.
  • noun A hearty draft of liquid.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of quaffing; also, the quantity of liquor drunk at once; a draught.
  • To drink; swallow in large draughts; drink of copiously or greedily.
  • To drink largely or luxuriously.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To drink largely or luxuriously.
  • transitive verb To drink with relish; to drink copiously of; to swallow in large draughts.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To drink or imbibe, especially with vigour.
  • noun The act of quaffing, a deep draught.

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

  • noun a hearty draft
  • verb to swallow hurriedly or greedily or in one draught


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

[Origin unknown.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Attested since the mid 16th century, of uncertain origin. Suggestions include connection with Irish Gaelic cauch ("cup") (whence Scots quaich, queff). The noun is derived from the verb, since the later 16th century.


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  • This seems to mostly happen to potions.

    September 4, 2011

  • Does anything rhyme with quaff?

    I don't think it rhymes with off. To my ear, quaff and off have the same vowels as la and law, respectively.

    January 21, 2017

  • For rhymes with quaff see comments at sclaff and bibliotaph.

    January 21, 2017

  • how about cough


    old rhyme book at and page 206

    the syrup he did quaff for his 5 year cough

    January 21, 2017

  • I have just listened to a half dozen audio clips that all pronounce it to rhyme with off or cough. This is bad news for my limericks.

    In my native dialect, the fast disappearing one of eastern New England, laugh and half might have the vowel that pterodactyl hears in quaff.

    January 21, 2017