Dictionary.com

luff

[ luhf ]
/ lʌf /
Save This Word!

noun Nautical.
the forward edge of a fore-and-aft sail.
verb (used without object)
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.
verb (used with object)
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).
QUIZ
ARE YOU A TRUE BLUE CHAMPION OF THESE "BLUE" SYNONYMS?
We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.
Question 1 of 8
Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of luff

1175–1225; Middle English lof, loof steering gear (compare Old French lof) <Middle Dutch (unrecorded), later Dutch loef tholepin (of tiller)

OTHER WORDS FROM luff

un·luffed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use luff in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for luff

luff
/ (lʌf) /

noun
nautical the leading edge of a fore-and-aft sail
noun
tackle consisting of a single and a double block for use with rope having a large diameter
verb
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

C13 (in the sense: steering gear): from Old French lof, perhaps from Middle Dutch loef peg of a tiller; compare Old High German laffa palm of hand, oar blade, Russian lapa paw
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
FEEDBACK