[ uh-loof ]
/ əˈluf /


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.

Nearby words

  1. alongside,
  2. alongside of,
  3. alonso,
  4. alonso, alicia,
  5. alonso, dámaso,
  6. aloofness,
  7. alope,
  8. alopecia,
  9. alopecia areata,
  10. alopecia capitis totalis

Origin of aloof

1525–35; a-1 + loof luff windward

Related formsa·loof·ly, adverba·loof·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for aloof

British Dictionary definitions for aloof


/ (əˈluːf) /


distant, unsympathetic, or supercilious in manner, attitude, or feeling
Derived Formsaloofly, adverbaloofness, noun

Word Origin for aloof

C16: from a- 1 + loof, a variant of luff

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 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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper