Word of The Day for Tuesday, June 7, 2011


kef (kef)  n
also kif, keif or keef

1. a state of drowsy contentment, especially from the use of a narcotic
2. a substance, especially a smoking preparation of hemp leaves or marijuana, used to produce this state


1808, from Arabic kaif "well-being, good-humor"; in Morocco and Algeria, it was the name for Indian hemp

Sentence Examples:
• In the cool and shady retreat from the crowd to which Gilbert's footsteps had led him, an Italian might have lain dreaming half the day, and an Oriental would have sat down to withdraw himself from the material tedium of life in the superior atmosphere of kef. - Via Crucis, F. Marion Crawford

• A design that attracts is a flight of steps feebly lighted by a solitary light, hemmed in by ancient walls; on the last step lurks an anonymous person. A fine bit of old-fashioned romance is conjured up; also memories of Piranesi. The drowning woman is indescribable, yet not without a note of pathos. Buddha is one of the artist's highest flights. The Oriental mysticism, the Kef, as ecstasy is called in the East, are admirably expressed. His studies of deep-sea life border on the remarkable.  - Ivory Apes and Peacocks, James Hune

• Yet what a difference between the orderly composure of these holiday makers, and the noisy mirth of our own compatriots. These folks take their kef, as they do every thing else, quietly. Here you may see hundreds of revellers, and not a drunkard among them. - Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, 1847

Sources: Dictionary.com, Online Etymology

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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