WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020 luff
(luf ),USA pronunciation n. [Naut.]
- Nautical, Naval Termsthe forward edge of a fore-and-aft sail. See diag. under sail.
- Nautical, Naval Termsto bring the head of a sailing ship closer to or directly into the wind, with sails shaking.
- Nautical, Naval Terms(of a sail) to shake from being set too close to the wind:The sail luffed as we put about for port.
- Nautical, Naval Termsto raise or lower the outer end of the boom of a crane or derrick so as to move its load horizontally.
- Nautical, Naval Termsto set (the helm of a ship) in such a way as to bring the head of the ship into the wind.
- Nautical, Naval Termsto raise or lower the outer end of (the boom of a crane or derrick).
- Middle Dutch (unrecorded), later Dutch loef tholepin (of tiller)
- Middle English lof, loof steering gear (compare Old French lof ) 1175–1225
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
luff /lʌf/ n
- the leading edge of a fore-and-aft sail
Etymology: 13th Century (in the sense: steering gear): from Old French lof, perhaps from Middle Dutch loef peg of a tiller; compare Old High German laffa palm of hand, oar blade, Russian lapa paw
- to head (a sailing vessel) into the wind so that her sails flap
- (intransitive) (of a sail) to flap when the wind is blowing equally on both sides
- to move the jib of (a crane) or raise or lower the boom of (a derrick) in order to shift a load
'luff' also found in these entries: