• synonyms


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.
  3. (of a rocket or guided missile) to deviate from a stable flight attitude by oscillation of the longitudinal axis in the horizontal plane.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to cause to yaw.
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  1. a movement of deviation from a direct course, as of a ship.
  2. a motion of an aircraft about its vertical axis.
  3. 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.
  4. (of a rocket or guided missile)
    1. the act of yawing.
    2. the angular displacement of the longitudinal axis due to yawing.
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Origin of yaw1

First recorded in 1540–50; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for yawed

Historical Examples

  • At the same moment she yawed sharply and seemed to change her course.

    Treasure Island

    Robert Louis Stevenson

  • We yawed a little so as to bring all our starboard guns to bear.

    Hurricane Hurry

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • We yawed, so that our guns could be brought to bear on the stranger.

  • The ship swayed and yawed frightfully from this side to that.

  • In a few minutes she yawed to starboard, and the main-sail was taken aback.

British Dictionary definitions for yawed


  1. (intr) (of an aircraft, missile, etc) to turn about its vertical axisCompare pitch 1 (def. 11), roll (def. 14)
  2. (intr) (of a ship, etc) to deviate temporarily from a straight course
  3. (tr) to cause (an aircraft, ship, etc) to yaw
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  1. the angular movement of an aircraft, missile, etc, about its vertical axis
  2. the deviation of a vessel from a straight course
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Word Origin

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 yawed



"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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper