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Difference between draft or draught

draft or draught

In the realm of English language, the words draft and draught often cause confusion due to their similar pronunciation and overlapping meanings. However, these terms have distinct uses and origins, rooted deeply in grammar and usage. Draft refers to a preliminary version of a piece of writing or a plan, whereas draught is primarily used in British English to denote the drawing in of a fishing net, the depth of water needed to float a ship, or a current of air. Both terms share the same linguistic root but have diverged in meaning and usage over time.

Quick Facts Table

Primary UsagePreliminary version of writingDrawing in of a net, depth of water, or current of air
Pronunciation/dræft//drɑːft/ (UK), /dræft/ (US)
OriginMiddle EnglishMiddle English
Common inBoth British and American EnglishPredominantly British English

Difference Between Draft OR Draught

Definition of Draft

Draft primarily refers to a preliminary version of a document, plan, or drawing that is made before the final version. It can also mean a selection or conscription for military service, as well as the act of drawing liquid from a larger container or the drawing in of air through an opening.

Definition of Draught

Draught is a term used in British English to refer to a current of air, especially one that enters a space in a way that makes the space colder or less comfortable. It also refers to the depth of water needed to float a ship, the act of pulling a load, and in specific contexts, to a serving of drink drawn from a keg or cask.

Origin of Draft

The word draft comes from the Middle English draught, which means an act of drawing or pulling, and has evolved in American English to have specific meanings related to preliminary writings and selections.

Origin of Draught

Draught also originates from Middle English draught, sharing the same etymology as draft but retaining its original meanings related to pulling, drawing, and measurement of depth in British English.


  • Draft is pronounced as /dræft/ in both British and American English.
  • Draught is pronounced as /drɑːft/ in British English and /dræft/ in American English, where it is used.

Comparing Draft and Draught

UsageWriting, plans, selectionAirflow, depth, pulling
PronunciationIdentical in UK and USVaries between UK and US
Common ContextsDocuments, military, beer servingBoating, architecture, beverages

Usage in Sentences with Explanations

Use of Draft in Sentences

  1. I’ve completed the first draft of my novel, and now it’s time for revisions.
    • Refers to a preliminary version of writing.
  2. The government announced a new draft for military service.
    • Means selection or conscription for military purposes.
  3. Can you pour me a draft beer from the keg?
    • Refers to beer drawn from a larger container.
  4. Make sure to close the windows; we don’t want a draft coming in.
    • Although similar to draught, it’s used in American English to mean a current of air.
  5. The architect considered the draft of the building to ensure it was structurally sound.
    • Uses draft in the context of drawing or sketching plans.

Use of Draught in Sentences

  1. She felt a cold draught coming from the old window.
    • Refers to a current of air, specifically in British English.
  2. The ship measured a draught of twenty feet to safely navigate the harbor.
    • Relates to the depth of water needed for a ship.
  3. He’s an expert in draught animals, especially horses.
    • Concerns the act of pulling a load.
  4. We enjoyed a refreshing draught of ale at the pub.
    • British term for a serving of drink drawn from a keg.
  5. The draught of the fishing net was successful, yielding a large catch.
    • Refers to the act of drawing in a fishing net.


While draft and draught may seem interchangeable at first glance, their specific contexts and usages reveal distinct meanings. Understanding these differences is key to accurate and appropriate application in both writing and speech, reflecting the rich tapestry of the English language.

Commonly Asked Questions

  • What is the main difference between draft and draught?
    • Draft mainly refers to preliminary versions of writings or plans, while draught relates to currents of air, the depth of water for ships, and pulling loads.
  • Can draft and draught be used interchangeably?
    • Generally, no. Their usage depends on the context and regional language norms, particularly between American and British English.
  • How do you pronounce draught?
    • In British English, it’s pronounced /drɑːft/, and in American English, where used, it’s pronounced /dræft/.
  • Is draught only a British term?
    • Primarily, yes. Draught retains its original meanings mainly in British English, while draft has evolved in American English to include additional meanings.
Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith, writer at, blends creativity with insight, exploring technology, culture, and psychology. With a background in English Literature, she crafts engaging stories inspired by nature and urban life. Outside writing, she enjoys exploring and continuous learning.View Author posts

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