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abaft

[uh-baft, uh-bahft] /əˈbæft, əˈbɑft/ Nautical
preposition
1.
to the rear of; aft of:
the fife rail abaft the mainmast.
adverb
2.
in the direction of the stern; astern; aft.
Origin of abaft
1225-1275
1225-75; Middle English on baft, abaft, equivalent to a-1 and on on + baft, Old English bæftan contraction of be + æftan. See by1aft1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for abaft
Historical Examples
  • The sound came from abaft his beam and his disquietude increased.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • I had them all ready, and went to my desk in my room, just abaft the pilot-house, for them.

    Down South Oliver Optic
  • Up with your helm, abaft there, and let her go off square before the wind!

    The Missing Merchantman Harry Collingwood
  • "I'm on the port side just abaft the pantry," I answered, shaking him by the hand.

    A Bid for Fortune Guy Boothby
  • Mr Culpepper was abaft, walking by himself, when Bob went up and accosted him.

    Percival Keene Frederick Marryat
  • Luxury starts from abaft, and is not wholly lost, even at the fore-peak.

    The Three Cutters Captain Frederick Marryat
  • The fore and main tops are sent up from abaft, and the mizzen from forward.

    The Seaman's Friend Richard Henry Dana
  • If it is just abaft the windlass, it will be convenient in case you wish to slip your cable.

    The Seaman's Friend Richard Henry Dana
  • There was a capstan just abaft the mainmast, and here the men assembled.

  • At that time we did not know how far we might be abaft the Cape 9of Good Hope.

British Dictionary definitions for abaft

abaft

/əˈbɑːft/
adverb, adjective (postpositive)
1.
closer to the stern than to another place on a vessel: with the wind abaft
preposition
2.
behind; aft of: abaft the mast
Word Origin
C13: on baft; baft from Old English beæftan, from be by + æftan behind
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for abaft
adv.

"in or at the back part of a ship" (opposed to forward), 1590s, from Middle English on baft (Old English on bæftan) "backwards." The second component is itself a compound of be "by" (see by) and æftan "aft" (see aft). The word has been saved by the sailors (the stern being the "after" part of a vessel), the rest of the language having left it in Middle English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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