Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Luff
From Old French lof. Collins English Dictionary states that this word is ultimately derived from Middle Dutch loef. Ellert Ekwall's Shakspere's Vocabulary: its etymological elements (1903) related this verb and loof instead to the East Frisian verb lofen, lufen, which would make it cognate to the French term lover.
luff (plural luffs)
- (nautical) The vertical edge of a sail that is closest to the direction of the wind.
- 1883, Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island:
- "The man at the helm was watching the luff of the sail and whistling away gently to himself."
- By easing the halyard, the luff of the sail was made to sag to leeward.
- (nautical) The act of sailing a ship close to the wind.
- (nautical) The roundest part of a ship's bow.
- (nautical) The forward or weather leech of a sail, especially of the jib, spanker, and other fore-and-aft sails.
vertical edge of a sail
roundest part of a ship's bow
forward or weather leech of a sail
luff (third-person singular simple present luffs, present participle luffing, simple past and past participle luffed)
- (nautical, of a sail, intransitive) To shake due to being trimmed improperly.
- 1993, John Banville, Ghosts:
- I thought how my life is like a little boat and I must hold the tiller steady against the buffeting of wind and waves, and how sometimes, like this morning, I lose my hold somehow and the sail luffs helplessly and the little vessel wallows, turning this way and that in the swell.
- (nautical, of sailing vessels, intransitive) To bring the ship's head up closer to the wind. (Alternatively luff up)
- 1851, Herman Melville, Moby Dick:
- "Helm there! Luff, luff a point! So; steady, man, steady!"
- (nautical, transitive) to let out (a sail) so that it luffs.
- (mechanical) To alter the vertical angle of the jib of a crane so as to bring it level with the load.
- ^ “luff”, in Dictionary.com Unabridged, Dictionary.com, LLC, 1995–present.
- (chiefly Northern) Alternative form of love (“love”)
- (Northern) Alternative form of love (“palm”)
- English terms derived from Old French
- English terms derived from Middle Dutch
- English 1-syllable words
- English terms with IPA pronunciation
- English terms with audio links
- Rhymes:English/ʌf/1 syllable
- English lemmas
- English nouns
- English countable nouns
- English terms with quotations
- English terms with usage examples
- English verbs
- English intransitive verbs
- English transitive verbs
- Middle English lemmas
- Middle English nouns
- Northern Middle English