A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Waft (verb active)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 2234

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 2234

To Waft. v.a. [probably from wave.]

  1. To carry through the air, or on the water.

            A braver choice of dauntless spirits,
    Than now the English bottoms have waft o'er,
    Did never float upon the swelling tide.

                          Our high admiral
    Shall waft them over with our royal fleet.

    Whether cripples, who have lost their thighs, will not sink but float; their lungs being able to waft up their bodies, which are in others overpoised by the hinder legs, we have not made experiment. Brown's Vulgar Errours.

    Nor dares his transport-vessel cross the waves,
    With such whose bones are not compos'd in graves:
    A hundred years they wander on the shore;
    At length, their penance done, are wafted o'er.

    Lend to this wretch your hand, and waft him o'er
    To the sweet banks of yon forbidden shore.

    From hence might first spring that opinion of the vehicles of spirits; the vulgar conceiving that the breath was that wherein the soul was wafted and carried away. Ray.

    They before wafted over their troops into Sicily in open vessels. Arbuthnot on Coins.

    In vain you tell your parting lover,
    You wish fair winds may waft him over:
    Alas! what winds can happy prove,
    That bear me far from what I love?

    Speed the soft intercourse from soul to soul,
    And waft a sigh from Indus to the pole.

  2. To beckon; to inform by a sign of any thing moving.

Sources: Arbuthnot, John (227) · Browne, Thomas (203) · Dryden, John (788) · Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 3 (39) · Shakespeare's King John (43) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Prior, Matthew (162) · Ray, John (59)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Waft (verb active)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 16, 2012. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/waft-verb-active/.

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