verb (used without object)

verb (used with object)

to cause to yaw.


Origin of yaw

First recorded in 1540–50; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for yawing

swerve, veer, curve, zigzag, turn, weave, deviate, bank, slue, unsteady

Examples from the Web for yawing

Historical Examples of yawing

  • It had been yawing off that compass all the way from a point to a point and a half.

  • She headed nearly due south, yawing, of course, all the time.

    Treasure Island

    Robert Louis Stevenson

  • The wind was steady, and as we ran before it there was no yawing.


    Bram Stoker

  • Steer a steady course there at the wheel—you're yawing all round the compass!

    The North Pacific

    Willis Boyd Allen

  • But what yawing about she made of it when she came with a stranger at the helm!

British Dictionary definitions for yawing



(intr) (of an aircraft, missile, etc) to turn about its vertical axisCompare pitch 1 (def. 11), roll (def. 14)
(intr) (of a ship, etc) to deviate temporarily from a straight course
(tr) to cause (an aircraft, ship, etc) to yaw


the angular movement of an aircraft, missile, etc, about its vertical axis
the deviation of a vessel from a straight course

Word Origin for 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

Word Origin and History for yawing



"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