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Etymology 1[edit]

Of uncertain origin. Suggestions include connection with Old Irish cuäch (cup, goblet, bowl; cauldron, large vessel; bowl, cup) (whence Scots quaich, queff). The noun is derived from the verb.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /kwɒf/
  • (US) IPA(key): /kwɑf/, /kwɔf/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɒf


quaff (third-person singular simple present quaffs, present participle quaffing, simple past and past participle quaffed)

  1. To drink or imbibe with vigour or relish; to drink copiously; to swallow in large draughts. [from mid-16th c.]
    I can't believe you quaffed four pints of beer and could still drive!
    • c. 1590–1592, William Shakespeare, “The Taming of the Shrew”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene ii]:
      Please ye we may contrive this afternoon, / And quaff carouses to our mistress' health
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book V”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, OCLC 230729554:
      They eat, they drink, and in communion sweet
      Quaff immortality and joy []
    • 1823, Mary Shelley, Valperga:
      Sometimes the memory of her peaceful life at Florence obtruded itself upon her, and more than that, her charitable occupations when she attended the sick in that city, and whence, as from a rough-hewn chalice containing nectarian drink, she had quaffed happiness.
    • 1845 February, — Quarles [pseudonym; Edgar Allan Poe], “The Raven”, in The American Review[1], volume I, number II, New York, N.Y.; London: Wiley & Putnam, [], OCLC 1015246566:
      Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!
    • 1852, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Dr. Heidegger's Experiment
      Even while quaffing the third draught of the Fountain of Youth, they were almost awed by the expression of his mysterious visage.
    • 2017 December 21, Gabriel Sherman, ““I Have Power”: Is Steve Bannon Running for President?”, in Vanity Fair[2]:
      Bannon was padding around the room in a black blazer over two collared shirts, quaffing a can of Pocari Sweat, a popular Japanese energy drink.
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


quaff (plural quaffs)

  1. The act of quaffing; a deep draught. [from late 16th c.]

Etymology 2[edit]



  1. Misspelling of coif.
    • 1953 July, Theodore Sturgeon, “The World Well Lost”, in Universe Science Fiction, number 1, page 16; reprinted as “The World Well Lost”, in Thomas N. Scortia, editor, Strange Bedfellows: Sex and Science Fiction, New York: Random House, Inc, 1972, →ISBN, OCLC 00354310, page 56:
      There were loverbird songs and loverbird trinkets, loverbird hats and pins, bangles and baubles, coins and quaffs and tidbits.
    • 2013 June 19, Sarah Romanowski, “status update”, in Twitter[3]:
      I'm actually gonna miss @sreizis and seeing him and his perfectly groomed quaff everyday in every class.
    • 2014 January 19, Ryan Arciero, “Miley Cyrus new hair: Bowl cut a fresh style for singer, mixed reactions so far”, in Examiner.com[4]:
      The Miley Cyrus new hair photos reveal the former Hannah Montana star sporting a bowl cut of sorts that isn’t receiving all good news at this point. Cyrus revealed her new quaff this Tuesday with friends while relaxing outside a local Los Angeles recording studio.