General English

  • noun the skill of making something by hand


  • noun a boat, etc., for carrying people or goods on water
  • noun an aircraft or spacecraft for carrying people or goods in the air or in space


  • Synonymous with trade, but implies a trade requiring above-average skill.

Human Resources

  • noun traditional manufacture done by hand


  • noun a boat or ship

Origin & History of “craft”

The original notion contained in the word craft is that of ‘strength’ (that is the meaning of its relatives in other Germanic languages, such as German and Swedish kraft). Old English crœft had that sense too (it had largely died out by the 16th century), but it had also developed some other meanings, which are not shared by its Germanic cognates: ‘skill’, e.g. (in a bad as well as a good sense, whence crafty) and ‘trade’ or ‘profession’. much later in origin, however (17th-century in fact), is the sense ‘ship’. It is not clear how this developed, but it may have been a shortening of some such expression as ‘vessel of the sailor’s craft’ (that is, ‘trade’). The word’s Germanic stem was *krab- or *kraf-, which some have seen also as the source of crave (OE).