Definitions for waif
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word waif
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
a person, esp. a child, who has no home.
a stray animal, whose owner is not known.
a stray item or article.
Origin of waif:
1350–1400; ME < AF, orig. lost, stray, unclaimed (cf. OF guaif stray beast) < Scand; cf. ON veif movement to and fro; see waive
waif, street child(noun)
a homeless child especially one forsaken or orphaned
"street children beg or steal in order to survive"
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.
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.
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
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
A waif is a living creature removed, by hardship, loss or other helpless circumstance, from its original surroundings. The most common usage of the word is to designate a homeless, forsaken or orphaned child, or someone whose appearance is evocative of the same. As such, the term is similar to a ragamuffin or street urchin, although the main distinction is volitional: a runaway youth might live on the streets, but would not properly be called a waif as the departure from one's home was an exercise of free will. Likewise, a person fleeing their home for purposes of safety, is typically considered not a waif but a refugee.
Translations for waif
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary
a stray, uncared-for child
a poor little waif.
- شارِد، شَخْص أو حَيَوان ضالArabic
- órfãoPortuguese (BR)
- opuštěné dítěCzech
- verlassenes obdachloses KindGerman
- hjemløst barnDanish
- niño abandonado/desamparadoSpanish
- kodutu (laps)Estonian
- بچه بي سرپرستFarsi
- enfant abandonnéFrench
- יֶלֶד עָזוּבHebrew
- परित्यक्त शिशुHindi
- anak terlantarIndonesian
- umkomuleysingi; munaðarleysingiIcelandic
- (bambino abbandonato)Italian
- valkataujantis, benamis vaikasLithuanian
- budak terbiarMalay
- hjemløst barn, gatebarnNorwegian
- porzucone dziecko, przybłędaPolish
- بچه بي سرپرستPersian
- بى خاونده و بى څښتنه شى: ورك شوى ژوى يا انسان، بى دركه ، ورك: بى كوره ، بيڅوكه، بى كسهPashto
- copil abandonatRomanian
- tulák, najdúchSlovak
- föräldralöst (hemlöst) barn, gatubarnSwedish
- สัตว์เลี้ยงที่หลงทาง; เด็กที่ถูกทอดทิ้ง; เด็กจรจัด; เด็กข้างถนนThai
- 流浪兒童Chinese (Trad.)
- безпритульна дитина; покидьокUkrainian
- لاوارث شےUrdu
- trẻ bơ vơVietnamese
- 流浪儿Chinese (Simp.)
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