- the forward edge of a fore-and-aft sail.
- to bring the head of a sailing ship closer to or directly into the wind, with sails shaking.
- (of a sail) to shake from being set too close to the wind: The sail luffed as we put about for port.
- to raise or lower the outer end of the boom of a crane or derrick so as to move its load horizontally.
- to set (the helm of a ship) in such a way as to bring the head of the ship into the wind.
- to raise or lower the outer end of (the boom of a crane or derrick).
Origin of luff
Examples from the Web for luff
Historical Examples of luff
It is probable the enemy did not keep his luff, towards the last, on account of the land.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
And they did, me staying aboard the Hattie to luff her for them to get away.Sonnie-Boy's People
James B. Connolly
Love, Luff, occurs generally as a personal name, hence the dim.The Romance of Names
"Luff a little," he added, as he discovered the dim outline of the shore.In School and Out
They did not dare to luff her to the west or bear her away to the east.Heroes of the Goodwin Sands
Thomas Stanley Treanor
- nautical the leading edge of a fore-and-aft sail
- tackle consisting of a single and a double block for use with rope having a large diameter
- nautical to head (a sailing vessel) into the wind so that her sails flap
- (intr) nautical (of a sail) to flap when the wind is blowing equally on both sides
- to move the jib of (a crane) or raise or lower the boom of (a derrick) in order to shift a load
Word Origin for luff
c.1200, in sailing, from Old French lof "spar," or some other nautical device, "point of sail," also "windward side," probably from Germanic (cf. Middle Dutch lof "windward side of a ship" (Dutch loef), which might also be the direct source of the English word), from Proto-Germanic *lofo (cf. Old Norse lofi, Gothic lofa "palm of the hand," Danish lab, Swedish labb "paw"), from PIE *lep- "to be flat" (see glove). As a verb from late 14c., from the noun.