AskDefine | Define quaff

Dictionary Definition

quaff n : a hearty draft v : to swallow hurriedly or greedily or in one draught; "The men gulped down their beers" [syn: gulp, swig]

User Contributed Dictionary



Attested since the mid 16th century, of uncertain origin. Suggestions include connection with Irish Gaelic cauch (whence Scots quaich, queff). The noun is derived from the verb, since the later 16th century.


  • a UK /'kwɒf/, /kwQf/
  • a US /kwɑf/|/kwɔf/, /kwAf/|/kwOf/
  • Rhymes with: -ɒf



  1. To drink or imbibe, especially with vigour.
  2. In the context of "wine terminology": to sip a wine for itself



to drink or imbibe
to sip a wine for itself


  1. The act of quaffing, a deep draught.

Extensive Definition

Drinking is the act of consuming a liquid through the mouth. Water, for example, is required for many of life's physiological processes, and excess or decreased water intake is associated with health problems. Spanish: beber: to drink


A daily intake of 3-6 liters of water is required for the normal physiological functioning of the human body, depending on ambient weather conditions and diet (especially salt and sugar intake). The absolute minimum over the long term is about 1.6 liters (600 ml for urine, 200 ml for fecal losses, and 800 ml for losses via the skin and lungs). This includes water contained in food (i.e., it is not essential to drink 1-2 liters of water a day for survival, though it is often recommended for good health).
The sensation caused by dehydration of the body is called "thirst". The sensation of thirst is a dry feeling in the back of the throat and an intense desire to drink fluids. Thirst is regulated by the hypothalamus in response to subtle changes in the body's electrolyte levels, and also as a result of changes in the volume of blood circulating.

Role in disease

Polydipsia is the medical term for consumption of large quantities of water and may be a sign of various diseases (Diabetes Mellitus, Diabetes insipidus, and some psychiatric conditions).
Much of the world's disease is caused by the lack of clean drinking water. Lack of water in diet will eventually cause death by hypernatremia and dehydration, particularly when sweating consumes much of the body water.
It is also possible to overhydrate, which sometimes happens with athletes who consume too much water, thereby diluting the concentration of salts in the body.


Drinking vessels may include glasses, cups, bottles, canteens, and bowls.
Fewer skills are required for drinking from a baby bottle or a cup that has a lid with a nozzle. Therefore, these are useful for small children and people with some disabilities. If neither eating nor drinking are possible, some alternatives are enteral nutrition and parenteral nutrition.


"Drinking" is also used as a synonym for the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Additionally, having "thirst" or being "thirsty" can metonymically express a desire for alcohol.
quaff in Czech: Pití
quaff in Hebrew: שתייה
quaff in Dutch: Drinken
quaff in Indonesian: Minum
quaff in Japanese: 飲む
quaff in Korean: 마시기
quaff in Norwegian: Drikking
quaff in Narom: Baithe
quaff in Russian: Питьё
quaff in Chinese: 飲水
quaff in Contenese: 飲嘢

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

beverage, bib, booze, bumper, draft, drain the cup, dram, drench, drink, drink bottoms-up, drink deep, drink hard, drink in, drink off, drink to, drink up, follow strong drink, gargle, grog, gulp, guzzle, imbibe, knock back, lap, lap up, libation, nip, peg, pledge, portion, potation, pull, sip, slurp, snort, soak, suck, suck in, suckle, sup, swallow, swig, swill, tipple, toast, tope, toss, toss down, toss off, tot, wash down
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