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Autumn leaves wafting in the breeze


Back-formation from wafter ‎(armed convoy ship), alteration of Middle English waughter, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German wachter ‎(a guard), from wachten ‎(to guard). The current senses derive from the original sense “be carried by water”. See also waif.



waft ‎(third-person singular simple present wafts, present participle wafting, simple past and past participle wafted)

  1. (ergative) To (cause to) float easily or gently through the air.
    A breeze came in through the open window and wafted her sensuous perfume into my eager nostrils.
  2. (intransitive) To be moved, or to pass, on a buoyant medium; to float.
    • 1675, John Dryden, Aureng-zebe, London: [s.n.], OCLC 497010563, Act III, scene i; republished as “Aureng-Zebe, a Tragedy”, in Walter Scott, editor, The Works of John Dryden, now First Collected in Eighteen Volumes. Illustrated with Notes, Historical, Critical, and Explanatory, and a Life of the Author, by Walter Scott, Esq., volume V, London: Printed for William Miller, Albemarle Street, by James Ballantyne and Co. Edinburgh, 1808, OCLC 317070632, page 226:
      Unhappy Aureng-Zebe is in disgrace; / And your Morat, proclaimed the successor, / Is called, to awe the city with his power. / Those trumpets his triumphant entry tell, / And now the shouts waft near the citadel.
  3. To give notice to by waving something; to wave the hand to; to beckon.



waft ‎(plural wafts)

  1. A light breeze.
  2. Something (such as an odor or scent like a perfume) that is carried through the air.
  3. (nautical) A flag used to indicate wind direction or, with a knot tied in the center, as a signal; a waif, a wheft.