\ \ [13] Daft was not always a term of reproach.
\ \ It originally meant ‘mild, gentle’, and only in late Middle English slid to ‘stupid’ (in a semantic decline perhaps paralleling that of silly, which started off as ‘happy, blessed’). Middle English dafte corresponds directly to an Old English gedæfte, whose underlying sense seems to have been ‘fit, suitable’ (the sense connection was apparently that mild unassuming people were considered as behaving suitably). There is no direct evidence of its use with this meaning, but Old English had a verb gedæftanmake fit or ready, prepare’ which, together with the Gothic verb gedabanbe suitable’, points to its origin in a Germanic base *dab- ‘fit, suitable’. This ties in with the semantic development of deft, a variant of daft, which has moved from a prehistoric ‘fit, suitable’ to ‘skilful’.
\ \ Cf.DEFT

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • Daft — is an Old English derived word for silly, stupid, or mad, depending on context. Daft may also refer to: Daft (album), a 1986 album by Art of Noise Daft Punk, a French music duo D.A.F.T.: A Story About Dogs, Androids, Firemen and Tomatoes, a… …   Wikipedia

  • daft — [ dæft ] adjective MAINLY BRITISH INFORMAL 1. ) silly and not sensible or reasonable: I think it s a daft idea. don t be daft: Don t be daft of course I won t forget you. be daft enough to do something: Who would be daft enough to pay so much for …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • daft´ly — daft «daft, dahft», adjective. 1. without sense or reason; silly; foolish; stupid: »Go out in this rain? You must be daft. 2. crazy; insane; mad: »to go daft …   Useful english dictionary

  • daft — [da:ft US dæft] adj especially BrE [: Old English; Origin: gedAfte gentle ] 1.) silly ▪ a daft idea ▪ Me, jealous? Don t be daft (=that is a silly idea) . ▪ She s as daft as a brush (=extremely silly) . 2.) be daft about sth to be extremely… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Daft — (d[.a]ft), a. [OE. daft, deft, deft, stupid; prob. the same word as E. deft. See {Deft}.] 1. Stupid; foolish; idiotic; also, delirious; insane; as, he has gone daft. [1913 Webster] Let us think no more of this daft business Sir W. Scott. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • daft — daft; daft·berry; daft·ly; daft·ness; …   English syllables

  • daft — /daft / (say dahft) adjective 1. Colloquial lacking in commonsense; idiotic: not as daft as I look! 2. Colloquial stupid; foolish: a daft idea. 3. Chiefly British lacking mental acuity; mentally deficient. {Middle English daffte, Old English… …  

  • daft — [daft] adj. [ME dafte < OE (ge)dæfte, mild, gentle (for the sense development, see CRETIN, SILLY) < IE base * dhabh , to fit > L faber, a joiner, artisan] 1. silly; foolish 2. insane; crazy 3. Scot. merry or frolicsome in a giddy way… …   English World dictionary

  • daft — index lunatic Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • daft — (adj.) O.E. gedæfte gentle, becoming, from P.Gmc. *gadaftjaz (Cf. O.E. daeftan to put in order, arrange, gedafen suitable; Goth. gadaban to be fit ), from PIE *dhabh to fit together. Sense progression from mild (c.1200) to dull (c.1300) to… …   Etymology dictionary

  • daft — [adj] stupid; crazy absurd, asinine, bedlamite, bonkers, cracked*, crackers*, daffy*, demented, deranged, dopey*, flaky*, foolish, fried*, giddy, half baked*, idiotic, inane, insane, in the ozone*, lunatic, mad, mental*, nuts, nutty*, off the… …   New thesaurus

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