DRAUGHT (from the common Teutonic word "to draw"; cf. Ger. Tracht, load; the pronunciation led to the variant form "draft," now confined to certain specific meanings), the act or action of drawing, extending, pulling, etc. It is thus applied to animals used for drawing vehicles or loads, "draught oxen," etc., to the quantity of fish taken by one "drag" of a net, to a quantity of liquid taken or "drawn in" to the mouth, and to a current of air in a chimney, a room or other confined space. In furnaces the "draught" is "natural" when not increased artificially, or "forced" when increased by mechanical methods (see Boiler). The water a ship "draws," or her "draught," is the depth to which she sinks in the water as measured from her keel. The word was formerly used of a "move" in chess or similar games, and is thus, in the plural, the general English name of the game known also as "checkers" (see Draughts). The spelling "draft" is generally employed in the following usages. It is a common term for a written order "drawn on" a banker or other holder of funds for the payment of money to a third person; thus a cheque (q.v.) is a draft. A special form of draft is a "banker's draft," an instruction by one bank to another bank, or to a branch of the bank making the instruction, to pay a sum of money to the order of a certain specified person. Other meanings of "draft" are an outline, plan or sketch, or a preliminary drawing up of an instrument, measure, document, etc., which, after alteration and amendment, will be embodied in a final or formal shape; an allowance made by merchants or importers to those who sell by retail, to make up a loss incurred in weighing or measuring; and a detachment or body of troops "drawn off" for a specific purpose, usually a reinforcement from the depot or reserve units to those abroad or in the field. For the use of the term "draft" or "draught" in masonry and architecture see Drafted Masonry.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)