waif

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waif 1

 (wāf)
n.
1.
a. A homeless person, especially a forsaken or orphaned child.
b. An abandoned young animal.
2. A person, especially a young woman, who is thin or gaunt.
3. Something found and unclaimed, as an object cast up by the sea.

[Middle English, ownerless property, stray animal, from Anglo-Norman, probably of Scandinavian origin; see weip- in Indo-European roots.]

waif 2

 (wāf)
n. Nautical
See waft.

[Probably of Scandinavian origin; see weip- in Indo-European roots.]

waif

(weɪf)
n
1. (Sociology) a person, esp a child, who is homeless, friendless, or neglected
2. anything found and not claimed, the owner being unknown
3. (Nautical Terms) nautical another name for waft5
4. (Law) law obsolete a stolen article thrown away by a thief in his flight and forfeited to the Crown or to the lord of the manor
[C14: from Anglo-Norman, variant of Old Northern French gaif, of Scandinavian origin; related to Old Norse veif a flapping thing]
ˈwaifˌlike, ˈwaifish adj

waif


(wāf),
n.
1. a person, esp. a child, who has no home.
2. a stray animal, whose owner is not known.
3. a stray item or article.
[1350–1400; Middle English < Anglo-French, orig. lost, stray, unclaimed (compare Old French guaif stray beast) < Scandinavian; compare Old Norse veif movement to and fro; see waive]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.waif - a homeless child especially one forsaken or orphanedwaif - a homeless child especially one forsaken or orphaned; "street children beg or steal in order to survive"
child, kid, minor, nipper, tiddler, youngster, tike, shaver, small fry, nestling, fry, tyke - a young person of either sex; "she writes books for children"; "they're just kids"; "`tiddler' is a British term for youngster"

waif

noun stray, orphan, outcast, urchin, foundling an emaciated waif living rough on the streets
Translations
شارِد، شَخْص أو حَيَوان ضال
hjemløst barn
lelenc
umkomuleysingi; munaîarleysingi
benamis vaikas
bezpajumtnieks
kimsesiz çocuk

waif

[weɪf] N (= child) → niño/a m/f abandonado/a, niño/a m/f desamparado/a; (= animal) → animal m abandonado
waifs and strays (= children) → niños mpl abandonados or desamparados; (= animals) → animales mpl abandonados

waif

[ˈweɪf] ngamin(e) m/f des rues
waif-like → au physique de gamin(e) des rues

waif

nobdachloses or heimatloses Kind; (= animal)herrenloses Tier; the poor little waifdas arme kleine Ding, hat kein Zuhause, …; waifs and strays (= children)obdachlose or heimatlose Kinder pl; (= animals)herrenlose Tiere pl

waif

[weɪf] nbambino/a abbandonato/a; (slight person) → creatura gracile
waifs and strays → trovatelli mpl

waif

(weif) noun
a stray, uncared-for child. a poor little waif.
References in classic literature ?
The allusion to the waifs and waif-poles in the last chapter but one, necessitates some account of the laws and regulations of the whale fishery, of which the waif may be deemed the grand symbol and badge.
Stryver (after notifying to his jackal that "he had thought better of that marrying matter") had carried his delicacy into Devonshire, and when the sight and scent of flowers in the City streets had some waifs of goodness in them for the worst, of health for the sickliest, and of youth for the oldest, Sydney's feet still trod those stones.
It was Aunt Polly, too, who discovered the story one day about the two poor little waifs in a snow-storm who found a blown-down door to crawl under, and who wondered what poor folks did that didn't have any door
The towers and steeples of the many house- encompassed churches, dark and dingy as the sky that seems descending on them, are no relief to the general gloom; a sun-dial on a church-wall has the look, in its useless black shade, of having failed in its business enterprise and stopped payment for ever; melancholy waifs and strays of housekeepers and porter sweep melancholy waifs and strays of papers and pins into the kennels, and other more melancholy waifs and strays explore them, searching and stooping and poking for anything to sell.
Gradually their talk died out and drowsiness began to steal upon the eyelids of the little waifs.
A tide of waifs, strays, and malcontents of old camps along the river began to set towards Devil's Ford, in very much the same fashion as the debris, drift, and alluvium had been carried down in bygone days and cast upon its banks.
Then, too, there was the mute appeal of this wee waif alone and unloved in the midst of the horrors of the savage jungle.
The young fellow hooked his arm into the Reverend's, now, with the confiding and grateful air of a waif who has been longing for a friend, and a sympathetic ear, and a chance to lisp once more the sweet accents of the mother-tongue--and then he limbered up the muscles of his mouth and turned himself loose--and with such a relish
He agreed to furnish the crew with provisions during their stay in his territories, and to return to them all their clothing that could be found, but he stipulated that the wreck should be abandoned to him as a waif cast by fortune on his shores.
Tenderly Kala nursed her little waif, wondering silently why it did not gain strength and agility as did the little apes of other mothers.
He was followed almost immediately by Hiram Da Souza, who, curiously enough, seemed to have been on the platform when the train came in and to have been much interested in this shabby, lonely old man, who carried himself like a waif stranded in an unknown land.
But the spare room was out of the question for such a stray waif, so there remained only the east gable room.