Waif vs Wail - What's the difference?

waif | wail |


In obsolete|lang=en terms the difference between waif and wail

is that waif is (obsolete) hence, anything found, or without an owner; that which comes along, as it were, by chance while wail is (obsolete) to choose; to select.

As nouns the difference between waif and wail

is that waif is (obsolete) goods found of which the owner is not known; originally, such goods as a pursued thief threw away to prevent being apprehended, which belonged to the king unless the owner made pursuit of the felon, took him, and brought him to justice while wail is a prolonged cry, usually high-pitched, especially as of grief or anguish.

As a verb wail is

to cry out, as in sorrow or anguish or wail can be (obsolete) to choose; to select.

Other Comparisons: What's the difference?

waif

English

(Webster 1913)

Noun

(en noun)
  • (obsolete) Goods found of which the owner is not known; originally, such goods as a pursued thief threw away to prevent being apprehended, which belonged to the king unless the owner made pursuit of the felon, took him, and brought him to justice.
  • (obsolete) Hence, anything found, or without an owner; that which comes along, as it were, by chance.
  • A wanderer; a castaway; a stray; a homeless child.
  • * 1912 : (Edgar Rice Burroughs), (Tarzan of the Apes), Chapter 5
  • Tenderly Kala nursed her little waif , wondering silently why it did not gain strength and agility as did the little apes of other mothers. It was nearly a year from the time the little fellow came into her possession before he would walk alone, and as for climbing--my, but how stupid he was!
  • A plant that has been introduced but is not persistently naturalized.
  • See also

    * waft

    wail

    English

    Etymology 1

    Probably from (etyl) Etymology in Webster's Dictionary

    Noun

    (en noun)
  • A prolonged cry, usually high-pitched, especially as of grief or anguish.
  • She let out a loud, doleful wail .
  • Any similar sound as of lamentation; a howl.
  • The wail of snow-dark winter winds.
    A bird's wail in the night.
  • A sound made by emergency vehicle sirens, contrasted with "yelp" which is higher-pitched and faster.
  • Verb

    (en verb)
  • To cry out, as in sorrow or anguish.
  • To weep, lament persistently or bitterly.
  • To make a noise like mourning or crying.
  • The wind wailed and the rain streamed down.
  • To lament; to bewail; to grieve over.
  • to wail one's death
    (Shakespeare)
  • (slang, music) To perform with great liveliness and force.
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Derived terms
    * wailer * wailingly
    References

    Etymology 2

    Compare Icelandic word for "choice".

    Verb

    (en verb)
  • (obsolete) To choose; to select.
  • * Henryson
  • Wailed wine and meats
    (Webster 1913) English terms with homophones