Adrift vs Waft - What's the difference?

adrift | waft |

As an adjective adrift

is floating at random.

As an adverb adrift

is in a drifting condition; at the mercy of wind and waves.

As a verb waft is

(ergative) to (cause to) float easily or gently through the air.

As a noun waft is

a light breeze.




(en adjective)
  • Floating at random.
  • So on the sea shall be set adrift . --Dryden.
  • (of a seaman) Absent from his watch.
  • Behind one's opponents, or below a required threshold in terms of score, number or position.
  • *
  • *
  • * '>citation
  • * {{quote-news
  • , year=2014 , date=December 21 , author=Phil McNulty , title=Liverpool 2 - 2 Arsenal , work=BBC citation , page= , passage=Brendan Rodgers's team moved into the top 10 in the Premier League table, but they are nine points adrift of West Ham in fourth place, while Arsenal are sixth.}}


    (en adverb)
  • In a drifting condition; at the mercy of wind and waves.
  • waft



    (en verb)
  • (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.
  • * 1922 , (James Joyce), Chapter 13
  • Through the open window of the church the fragrant incense was wafted and with it the fragrant names of her who was conceived without stain of original sin…
  • * 1914 , Hugh G. Evelyn-White’s translation of Hymn to Aphrodite from the .[]
  • There the moist breath of the western wind wafted her over the waves of the loud-moaning sea in soft foam, and there the gold-filleted Hours welcomed her joyously.
  • To be moved, or to pass, on a buoyant medium; to float.
  • * Dryden
  • And now the shouts waft near the citadel.
  • To give notice to by waving something; to wave the hand to; to beckon.
  • * Shakespeare
  • But soft: who wafts us yonder?


    (en noun)
  • A light breeze.
  • Something (a scent or odor), such as a perfume, that is carried through the air.
  • * 1908 ,
  • Meanwhile, the wafts from his old home pleaded, whispered, conjured, and finally claimed him imperiously.
  • * 2010 September, "The SLM'' Calendar", , ISSN 1090-5723, volume 16, issue 9, page 170:
  • Patrol Magazine says of this Oxford, Miss., band: "Guitars are responsible for every noise in Colour Revolt's mix—not a single note of piano, waft of synthesizer, or evidence of electronic tampering are to be found."
  • (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.