[ yaw ]
See synonyms for yaw on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object)
  1. to deviate temporarily from a straight course, as a ship.

  2. (of an aircraft) to have a motion about its vertical axis.

  1. (of a rocket or guided missile) to deviate from a stable flight attitude by oscillation of the longitudinal axis in the horizontal plane.

verb (used with object)
  1. to cause to yaw.

  1. a movement of deviation from a direct course, as of a ship.

  2. a motion of an aircraft about its vertical axis.

  1. 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.

  2. (of a rocket or guided missile)

    • the act of yawing.

    • the angular displacement of the longitudinal axis due to yawing.

Origin of yaw

First recorded in 1540–50; origin uncertain

Words Nearby yaw

Other definitions for yaw (2 of 2)

[ yaw ]

  1. one of the lesions of yaws.

Origin of yaw

First recorded in 1735–45; back formation from yaws

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use yaw in a sentence

  • Ever after when I passed by his house, some of the children would point to me and say, ‘yaw killed aur guise.’

    Wanderings in South America | Charles Waterton
  • Take a Swede or a Dutchman: it's yaw yaw with them to the end of their time.

    My Danish Sweetheart., Volume 2 of 3 | William Clark Russell
  • The Chins in the valley of the yaw and its tributaries were raiders.

    The Pacification of Burma | Sir Charles Haukes Todd Crosthwaite
  • yaw—To swerve from side to side as a vessel does when running free.

    On Yacht Sailing | Thomas Fleming Day
  • For when the printing presses are united the planet may buck and yaw, but she comes into line at last.

    Shandygaff | Christopher Morley

British Dictionary definitions for yaw


/ (jɔː) /

  1. (intr) (of an aircraft, missile, etc) to turn about its vertical axis: Compare pitch 1 (def. 11), roll (def. 14)

  2. (intr) (of a ship, etc) to deviate temporarily from a straight course

  1. (tr) to cause (an aircraft, ship, etc) to yaw

  1. the angular movement of an aircraft, missile, etc, about its vertical axis

  2. the deviation of a vessel from a straight course

Origin of yaw

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