a drawing, sketch, or design.
a first or preliminary form of any writing, subject to revision, copying, etc.
act of drawing; delineation.
a current of air in any enclosed space, especially in a room, chimney, or stove.
a current of air moving in an upward or downward direction.
a device for regulating the current of air in a stove, fireplace, etc.
an act of drawing or pulling loads.
something that is drawn or pulled; a haul.
an animal or team of animals used to pull a load.
the force required to pull a load.
the taking of supplies, forces, money, etc., from a given source.
a selection or drawing of persons, by lot or otherwise, from the general body of the people for military service; levy; conscription.
the persons so selected.
Sports. a selecting or drawing of new players from a choice group of amateur players by professional teams, especially a system of selecting new players so that each team in a professional league receives some of the most promising players.
British. a selection of persons already in military service to be sent from one post or organization to another; detachment.
a written order drawn by one person upon another; a writing directing the payment of money on account of the drawer; bill of exchange.
a drain or demand made on anything.
an act of drinking or inhaling.
something that is taken in by drinking or inhaling; a drink; dose.
a quantity of fish caught.
Nautical. the depth to which a vessel is immersed when bearing a given load.
Also called leave. Metallurgy. the slight taper given to a pattern so that it may be drawn from the sand without injury to the mold.

the change in sectional area of a piece of work caused by a rolling or drawing operation.
a taper on a die or punch permitting it to be withdrawn readily from the work.

Masonry. a line or border chiseled at the edge of a stone, to serve as a guide in leveling the surfaces.

the degree of attenuation produced in fibers during yarn processing, expressed either by the ratio of the weight of raw to the weight of processed fiber, or by the ratio between the varying surface speeds of the rollers on the carding machine.
the act of attenuating the fibers.

an allowance granted to a buyer for waste of goods sold by weight.
to draw the outlines or plan of; sketch.
to draw up in written form; compose.
to draw or pull.
to take or select by draft, especially for military service.
Masonry. to cut a draft on.
to do mechanical drawing; work as a .
(in an automobile race) to drive or ride close behind another car so as to benefit from the reduction in air pressure created behind the car ahead.
used or suited for drawing loads:
a draft horse.
drawn or available to be drawn from a cask rather than served from a sealed bottle:
draft ale.
being a tentative or preliminary outline, version, design, or sketch.
on draft, available to be drawn from a cask rather than from a sealed bottle:
imported beer on draft.
Contemporary Examples

Republicans should draft legislation on each and every one of these proposals and send them to the president for his signature.
How the GOP Freshmen Should Battle the Budget Matt Latimer February 16, 2011

What adjectives did Mitt pencil into his draft before landing on that one?
Analyzing the Political Humor of Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Mitt Romney Mark Katz February 14, 2012

In France, we are supposed to salve our consciences with the knowledge that draft horses are raised to be eaten.
My Horsemeat Lunch Christopher Dickey February 26, 2013

It may sound vaguely threatening, but certainly not as frightening as the scenario I described in the draft 2011 speech.
House Republican Hostage Takers Are Unfit to Govern Jon Favreau September 29, 2013

He does his first draft, and then you make a pass at it, and then is there head-butting after?
Christopher Nolan Uncut: On ‘Interstellar,’ Ben Affleck’s Batman, and the Future of Mankind Marlow Stern November 9, 2014

Historical Examples

The draft was still crushed in her hand when she mounted the beloved horse, whose name now was Shiel.
You Never Know Your Luck, Complete Gilbert Parker

When you kill off all your present army, you must git up a draft.
Punchinello, Vol. 1. No. 20, August 13, 1870 Various

If the design be good, and the draft be true, the colouring is the first beauty that strikes the eye.
Discourses on Satire and on Epic Poetry John Dryden

In the first draft of his will Shakespeare did not mention his wife.
The Man Shakespeare Frank Harris

A committee was appointed to draft the constitution and by-laws to govern said society.
Wilford Woodruff Matthias F. Cowley

a plan, sketch, or drawing of something
a preliminary outline of a book, speech, etc
another word for bill of exchange
a demand or drain on something
the divergent duct leading from a water turbine to its tailrace
(US) selection for compulsory military service
detachment of military personnel from one unit to another
(commerce) an allowance on merchandise sold by weight
a line or narrow border that is chiselled on the surface of a stone to serve as a guide for levelling it
(Austral & NZ) a group of livestock separated from the rest of the herd or flock
verb (transitive)
to draw up an outline or sketch for something: to draft a speech
to prepare a plan or design of
to detach (military personnel) from one unit to another
(mainly US) to select for compulsory military service
to chisel a draft on (stone, etc)
(Austral & NZ)

to select (cattle or sheep) from a herd or flock
to select (farm stock) for sale

noun, verb
the usual US spelling of draught (sense 1), draught (sense 2), draught (sense 3), draught (sense 4), draught (sense 5), draught (sense 6), draught (sense 7), draught (sense 8), draught (sense 11)

c.1500, spelling variant of draught (q.v.) to reflect change in pronunciation. Among the senses that have gone with this form of the word in American English, the meaning “rough copy of a writing” (something “drawn”) is attested from 14c.; that of “preliminary sketch from which a final copy is made” is from 1520s; that of “flow of a current of air” is from c.1770. Of beer from the 1830s, in reference to the method of “drawing” it from the cask. Sense in bank draft is from 1745. The meaning “a drawing off a group for special duty” is from 1703, in U.S. especially of military service; the verb in this sense first recorded 1714. Related: Drafted; drafting.

draft (drāft)
A measured portion of a liquid or aerosol medication; a dose.

A preliminary version of a book, speech, essay, or outline.

A system for selecting young men for compulsory military service, administered in the United States by the Selective Service System. At present the United States relies on a volunteer military and does not have a draft, though young men are required by law to register with the Selective Service. (See also conscientious objector and draft dodger.)


To drive close behind a vehicle so as to be drawn by reduced air pressure: The point person takes on the wind, allowing those behind him to draft and save as much as 20% of their energy (1970s+ Car racing)

Related Terms

feel a draft


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