\ ə-ˈlȯft How to pronounce aloft (audio) \

Definition of aloft

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : at or to a great height measuring the winds aloft
2 : in the air especially : in flight (as in an airplane) meals served aloft
3 : at, on, or to the masthead or the higher rigging went aloft to unfurl the sails



Definition of aloft (Entry 2 of 2)

: on top of : above bright signs aloft hotels

Synonyms & Antonyms for aloft

Synonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Adverb

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Examples of aloft in a Sentence

Adverb The balloon stayed aloft for days. the ease with which he can hold a ballerina aloft with one hand is awesome
Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Yet my focus was pulled to what was at the bottom of the screen: a forest of cellphone cameras held aloft by audience members. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 27 Apr. 2022 The crowd cheered, and phones were held aloft, and for a moment, the past was forgotten. Max Berlinger, Vogue, 20 Apr. 2022 Tethered to a ground vehicle, their drone could remain aloft for days at a time. Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 17 Aug. 2021 Most of the smoke is expected to remain aloft, but some could mingle with surface air at higher elevations in the North and East Bay. Dominic Fracassa, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 Aug. 2021 Bayraktar can stay aloft for up to 27 hours, and reach a maximum altitude of 18,000 feet. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 11 Mar. 2022 Michael Jordan could stay aloft for almost one second. Amy Pope, Smithsonian Magazine, 11 Feb. 2022 That neighborhood is some 500 miles high, is now cluttered with the large objects that will stay aloft for years, perhaps even many decades, each turn around the Earth presenting another chance for a collision. Washington Post, 27 Jan. 2022 In 1992, Maréchal appeared in a campaign poster as a startled blond toddler held aloft in her grandfather’s arms. New York Times, 31 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition The Leicester fans held aloft the free commemorative scarves which were left on every seat inside the stadium and sang their late chairman’s name. San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Oct. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aloft.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of aloft


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for aloft


Middle English, from Old Norse ā lopt, from ā on, in + lopt air — more at on, loft


Middle English alofte, derivative of alofte aloft entry 1

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The first known use of aloft was in the 13th century

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Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Aloft.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for aloft


\ ə-ˈlȯft How to pronounce aloft (audio) \

Kids Definition of aloft

: in the air or in flight The seven great birds stayed aloft about half an hour …— E. B. White, The Trumpet of the Swan

More from Merriam-Webster on aloft

Nglish: Translation of aloft for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of aloft for Arabic Speakers


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