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4 definitions found
 for Waif
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Waif \Waif\, n. [OF. waif, gaif, as adj., lost, unclaimed, chose
     gaive a waif, LL. wayfium, res vaivae; of Scand. origin. See
     Waive.]
     [1913 Webster]
     1. (Eng. Law.) Goods found of which the owner is not known;
        originally, such goods as a pursued thief threw away to
        prevent being apprehended, which belonged to the king
        unless the owner made pursuit of the felon, took him, and
        brought him to justice. --Blackstone.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. Hence, anything found, or without an owner; that which
        comes along, as it were, by chance. "Rolling in his mind
        old waifs of rhyme." --Tennyson.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     3. A wanderer; a castaway; a stray; a homeless child.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              A waif
              Desirous to return, and not received. --Cowper.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  waif
      n 1: a homeless child especially one forsaken or orphaned;
           "street children beg or steal in order to survive" [syn:
           waif, street child]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  58 Moby Thesaurus words for "waif":
     Arab, beach bum, beachcomber, beggar, bo, bum, bummer, castaway,
     castoff, derelict, discard, dogie, flotsam, flotsam and jetsam,
     foundling, gamin, gamine, guttersnipe, hobo, homeless waif, idler,
     jetsam, junk, lagan, landloper, lazzarone, loafer, losel, mudlark,
     orphan, piker, ragamuffin, ragman, ragpicker, refuse, reject,
     rounder, rubbish, ski bum, stiff, stray, street Arab,
     street urchin, sundowner, surf bum, swagman, swagsman,
     tatterdemalion, tennis bum, tramp, trash, turnpiker, urchin, vag,
     vagabond, vagrant, waifs and strays, wastrel
  
  

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  WAIFS. Stolen goods waived or scattered by a thief in his flight in order to 
  effect his escape. 
       2. Such goods by the English common law belong to the king. 1 Bl. Com. 
  296; 5 Co. 109; Cro. Eliz. 694. This prerogative has never been adopted here 
  against the true owner, and never put in practice against the finder, though 
  against him there would be better reason for adopting it. 2 Kent, Com. 292. 
  Vide Com. Dig. h.t.; 1 Bro. Civ. Law, 239, n. 
  
  

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