Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “waif”


noun [C] uk   /weɪf/ literary us  
a child or animal without a home or enough food and care, usually thin and dirty in appearanceChildren and babies
(Definition of waif from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of waif?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “waif” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


to throw or drop something carelessly

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More