loft

Definitions

General English

Construction

  • Space beneath a roof of a building, most commonly used for storage of goods.
  • In a barn, the upper space at or near the ceiling with an elevated platform on which hay and grains are stored.
  • The upper space in a church or auditorium, sometimes enclosed and cantilevered, which accommodates a pipe organ or area for a choir.
  • The space between the grid and the upper part of the proscenium in a theatre stagehouse.
  • Within a loft building, the unpartitioned upper spaces visible from the floor immediately below. See also attic and garret.

Cricket

  • verb to hit the ball high in the air, especially when playing a front foot shot such as a straight drive
    Citation ‘In the following over … Botham stepped down the pitch and lofted the ball far above the height of St Ann’s tower’ (Berry 1982)
    Citation ‘Earmarked as one of the future stars of the middle order, he paid a heavy price for a loose stroke, a lofted drive straight to cover point’ (Trevor Grant, WCM March 1994)
    Citation ‘Langer was all fight, lofting Giles for two sixes in his first over, and heavily outscored a hesitant, scratchy Hayden’ (Hugh Chevallier, Wisden 2006)

Real Estate

  • noun the area between the ceiling of the top floor of a building and the roof
  • noun an upper floor of a commercial building such as a factory or warehouse, typically converted for residential or studio use

Origin & History of “loft”

The notion underlying loft is of being ‘high up in the air’ – and indeed originally loft, like its close German relative luft, meant ‘air’. Not until the 13th century do we find it being used in English for ‘upper room’ (although in fact its source, Old Norse lopt, had both meanings). All these words go back to a common ancestor, prehistoric Germanic *luftuz ‘air, sky’. From this was derived a verb *luftjan, which, again via Old Norse, has given English lift (13th c.) (the use of the derived noun for an ‘elevator’, incidentally, dates from the mid 19th century).
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