- to deviate temporarily from a straight course, as a ship.
- (of an aircraft) to have a motion about its vertical axis.
- (of a rocket or guided missile) to deviate from a stable flight attitude by oscillation of the longitudinal axis in the horizontal plane.
- to cause to yaw.
- a movement of deviation from a direct course, as of a ship.
- a motion of an aircraft about its vertical axis.
- an angle, to the right or left, determined by the direction of motion of an aircraft or spacecraft and its vertical and longitudinal plane of symmetry.
- (of a rocket or guided missile)
- the act of yawing.
- the angular displacement of the longitudinal axis due to yawing.
Origin of yaw1
First recorded in 1540–50; origin uncertain
- one of the lesions of yaws.
Origin of yaw2
First recorded in 1735–45; back formation from yaws
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for yaw
The screw is always edging a ship off, and the lighter the ballast the wider the yaw.The Pagan Madonna
The Yaw Derevocsid Eht, said everybody who looked at the writing.Peter the Priest
Here, pull harder, Steve; you're lettin' her yaw around terrible.Afloat on the Flood
Lawrence J. Leslie
It was as large as a silver dollar, that yaw, and it took all of three weeks to heal.The Cruise of the Snark
"Yaw, yaw," replied the spectre-crew, put into motion by the order.George Cruikshank's Omnibus
- the angular movement of an aircraft, missile, etc, about its vertical axis
- the deviation of a vessel from a straight course
C16: of unknown origin
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 yaw
"to fall away from the line of a course," 1540s, from Old Norse jaga, Old Danish jæge "to drive, chase," from Middle Low German jagen (see yacht).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper