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

  • intransitive verb To cause to go gently and smoothly through the air or over water.
  • intransitive verb To float easily and gently, as on the air; drift.
  • noun Something, such as an odor, that is carried through the air.
  • noun A light breeze; a rush of air.
  • noun The act or action of fluttering or waving.
  • noun Nautical A flag used for signaling or indicating wind direction.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To be moved or to pass in a buoyant medium; float.
  • To bear through a fluid or buoyant medium; convey through or as through water or air.
  • To buoy up; cause to float; keep from sinking.
  • To give notice by something in motion; signal to, as by waving the hand; beckon.
  • To cast lightly and quickly; turn.
  • noun The act of one who or that which wafts; a sweep; a beckoning. Also spelled weft.
  • noun That which is blown; a breath; a blast; a puff.
  • noun A transient odor or effluvium.
  • noun Nautical, a signal displayed from a ship by hoisting a flag rolled up length wise with one or more stops.

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

  • intransitive verb To be moved, or to pass, on a buoyant medium; to float.
  • transitive verb obsolete To give notice to by waving something; to wave the hand to; to beckon.
  • transitive verb To cause to move or go in a wavy manner, or by the impulse of waves, as of water or air; to bear along on a buoyant medium.
  • transitive verb obsolete To cause to float; to keep from sinking; to buoy.
  • noun A wave or current of wind.
  • noun A signal made by waving something, as a flag, in the air.
  • noun obsolete An unpleasant flavor.
  • noun (Naut.) A knot, or stop, in the middle of a flag.

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

  • verb ergative to cause to float easily or gently through the air
  • noun A light breeze.
  • noun Something (a scent or odor), such as a perfume, that is carried through the air.
  • noun nautical A flag, (also called a waif or wheft), used to indicate wind direction or, with a knot tied in the center, as a signal.

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

  • noun a long flag; often tapering
  • verb be driven or carried along, as by the air
  • verb blow gently


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

[Back-formation from wafter, convoy ship, alteration of Middle English waughter, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German wachter, a guard, from wachten, to guard; see weg- in Indo-European roots.]


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  • That Satan with less toil, and now with ease

    Wafts on the calmer wave by dubious light ...

    Milton, Paradise Lost II

    December 18, 2006

  • I love the way the word is spelled, how it feels, and the fact that it reminds me of Louisiana where I grew up.

    June 27, 2008

  • The smell of pine and sandalwood wafted through the cool , crisp mountain air

    August 22, 2015