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Date: 1300-1400
Language: Old North French
Origin: , (adjective), 'lost, unclaimed', from a Scandinavian language

waif

noun
     
waif [countable]
1 someone, especially a child, who is pale and thin and looks as if they do not have a home
2

waifs and strays

British EnglishSSCDHP children or animals who do not have a home:
She loved cats, and would take any waifs and strays into her home.

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