- at a distance, especially in feeling or interest; apart: They always stood aloof from their classmates.
- reserved or reticent; indifferent; disinterested: Because of his shyness, he had the reputation of being aloof.
Origin of aloof
SynonymsSee more synonyms for aloof on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for aloof
They should ask themselves instead how anyone as bored and aloof as Barack Obama could bother himself to hate anything.No Drama Obama's Israel Ambivalence
July 26, 2014
A Utah mother charged with killing six of her infant children was described as cold and aloof by a neighbor.Utah’s Murderer Mom Is a Monster but She’s Not the First
April 16, 2014
I can see how it would make people come across as cagey or aloof.How One Doctor Mastered the Art of Delivering Life-Changing Diagnoses
March 22, 2014
Aloof and bookish, Pius XI (Achille Ratti) spent years as a Vatican librarian before becoming a diplomat and cardinal.How the Catholic Church Got in Bed with Mussolini
February 5, 2014
With irony and wit he charmed a nation, but displayed a detachment that kept him aloof from the passions of his time.The New New Left Is No New Frontier and JFK Was No Liberal
James L. Swanson, Michael F. Bishop
October 8, 2013
She was like the falling of this starlight, pure, aloof, and strange and gentle.Way of the Lawless
Little Fay was as obstreperous as Tony was disagreeably silent and aloof.
Peter stood there silent, aloof, detached; and he appeared quite cool.
She stood as cold and aloof as earlier she had been warm and clinging.The Historical Nights Entertainment, Second Series
Even so; and of all men Socrates stood most aloof from such crimes.The Memorabilia
- distant, unsympathetic, or supercilious in manner, attitude, or feeling
Word Origin and History for aloof
1530s, from a- (1) + Middle English loof "weather gage," also "windward direction," probably from Dutch loef (Middle Dutch lof) "the weather side of a ship." Originally a nautical order to keep the ship's head to the wind, thus to stay clear of a lee-shore or some other quarter; hence the figurative sense of "at a distance, apart" (1580s). Related: Aloofly; aloofness.