What does aloof mean?

Definitions for aloof

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word aloof.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. aloof, distant, upstageadverb

    remote in manner

    "stood apart with aloof dignity"; "a distant smile"; "he was upstage with strangers"

  2. aloofadverb

    in an aloof manner

    "the local gentry and professional classes had held aloof for the school had accepted their sons readily enough"


  1. aloofadverb

    At or from a distance, but within view, or at a small distance; apart; away.

  2. aloofadverb

    Without sympathy; unfavorably.

  3. aloofadjective

    Reserved and remote; either physically or emotionally distant

  4. Etymology: From a- + Middle English loof (="weather gage," also "windward direction"), probably from Dutch loef (="the weather side of a ship"); originally a nautical order to keep the ship's head to the wind, thus to stay clear of a lee-shore or some other quarter, hence the figurative sense of "at a distance, apart"

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Aloofadverb

    Etymology: all off, that is, quite off.

    Then bad the knight this lady yede aloof,
    And to an hill herself withdrew aside,
    From whence she might behold the battle’s proof,
    And else be safe from danger far descried. Fairy Queen, b. i.

    As next in worth,
    Came singly where he stood, on the bare strand,
    While the promiscuous croud stood yet aloof. Parad. Lost.

    The noise approaches, though our palace stood
    Aloof from streets, encompass’d with a wood. Dryden.

    Turn on the bloody hounds with heads of steel,
    And make the cowards stand aloof at bay. William Shakespeare, Henry VI.

    Going northwards, aloof, as long as they had any doubt of being pursued, at last when they were out of reach, they turned and crossed the ocean to Spain. Francis Bacon.

    The king would not, by any means, enter the city, until he had aloof seen the cross set up upon the greater tower of Granada, whereby it became Christian ground. Francis Bacon, Hen. VII.

    Two pots stood by a river, one of brass, the other of clay. The water carried them away; the earthen vessel kept aloof from t’other. Roger L'Estrange, Fables.

    The strong may fight aloof; Ancæus try’d
    His force too near, and by presuming dy’d. John Dryden, Fables.

    Nor do we find him forward to be sounded;
    But with a crafty madness keeps aloof,
    When we would bring him on to some confession
    Of his true state. William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

    It is necessary the queen join; for, if she stand aloof, there will be still suspicions: it being a received opinion in the world, that she hath a great interest in the king’s favour and power. John Suckling.

    Love’s not love,
    When it is mingled with regards that stand
    Aloof from th’ entire point. William Shakespeare, King Lear.


  1. aloof

    Aloof is an adjective that describes someone who is emotionally distant, detached or uninvolved. It can refer to a person who chooses not to participate in social interactions or who appears indifferent or unresponsive to others.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Aloofnoun

    same as Alewife

  2. Aloofadverb

    at or from a distance, but within view, or at a small distance; apart; away

  3. Aloofadverb

    without sympathy; unfavorably

  4. Aloof

    away from; clear from

  5. Etymology: [Pref. a- + loof, fr. D. loef luff, and so meaning, as a nautical word, to the windward. See Loof, Luff.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Aloof

    a-lōōf′, adv. at a distance: apart.—n. Aloof′ness, withdrawal from common action or sympathy. [Pfx. a- (—A.S. on), on, and Loof, prob. Dut. loef. See Luff.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. aloof

    The old word for "keep your luff," in the act of sailing to the wind. (See LUFF.)--Keep aloof, at a distance.

  2. aloof

    Nearer to the wind. This is a very old form of luff; being noticed by Matthew Paris, and other writers, as a sea-term. (See LUFF.)

How to pronounce aloof?

How to say aloof in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of aloof in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of aloof in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of aloof in a Sentence

  1. Homer:

    But curb thou the high spirit in thy breast, for gentle ways are best, and keep aloof from sharp contentions.

  2. Zhang Chunxian:

    There are Uighurs that have fled overseas and joined the Islamic State, the organization has a huge international influence and Xinjiang can't keep aloof from it and we have already been affected. We have also found that some who fought returned to Xinjiang to participate in terrorist plots.

  3. Aeschylus:

    Of all the Gods, Death only craves not gifts: Nor sacrifice, nor yet drink-offering poured Avails; no altars hath he, nor is soothed By hymns of praise. From him alone of all The powers of Heaven Persuasion holds aloof.

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Translations for aloof

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"aloof." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 27 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/aloof>.

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    a state of acute pain
    • A. trigger
    • B. suffering
    • C. deterioration
    • D. witness

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