[uh-lawft, uh-loft]


high up; far above the ground.
  1. on the masts; in the rigging; overhead.
  2. (on a square-rigged sailing ship) in the upper rigging, specifically, on or above the lower yards (opposed to alow).
in or into the air.


on or at the top of: flags flying aloft the castle.

Origin of aloft

1150–1200; Middle English o loft; < Old Norse ā lopt in the air; see a-1, loft Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for aloft

above, over, overhead, up

Examples from the Web for aloft

Contemporary Examples of aloft

Historical Examples of aloft

  • A good look-out was kept for men, from aloft, but none were seen from any of the vessels.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • Saying no word, out of his lair he came with that terrible sword of his aloft.

    Fair Margaret

    H. Rider Haggard

  • The celebrant kissed the tablet, and held it aloft before all the people.

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield

  • No living thing would that loathly one leave as aloft it flew.



  • But from aloft Chris saw the trick and how the camouflage was worked.

    Raiders Invisible

    Desmond Winter Hall

British Dictionary definitions for aloft


adverb, adjective (postpositive)

in or into a high or higher place; up above
nautical in or into the rigging of a vessel

Word Origin for aloft

C12: from Old Norse ā lopt in the air; see lift 1, loft
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

Word Origin and History for aloft

c.1200, from a Scandinavian source; cf. Old Norse a lopti "up above," literally "up in the air," from a "in, on" + lopt "sky, air, atmosphere; loft, upper room" (cf. Gothic luftus, Old High German luft, Old English lyft "air;" see loft).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper