\ 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

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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 But the film, earthy and sober, refuses to be carried aloft by sentiment, instead navigating a difficult and painful path toward self-preservation and renewal. Jake Coyle, Star Tribune, "Review: 'Herself,' a spirited drama of abuse and resilience," 7 Jan. 2021 White House adviser, and the president's oldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, also posted an image of herself on Twitter holding aloft a can of Goya black beans. Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY, "Goya Foods CEO says Rep. Ocasio-Cortez was named 'employee of the month' after boycott," 8 Dec. 2020 On the cookbook’s cover, a single, near translucent shrimp held aloft by his antenna catches the sunlight. Washington Post, "Our favorite cookbooks of 2020," 9 Dec. 2020 Modeling also helped persuade the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the virus can be airborne and transmitted by aerosols that stay aloft for hours. Jill Neimark, Smithsonian Magazine, "What Is the Best Strategy to Deploy a Covid-19 Vaccine?," 23 Nov. 2020 There was a flurry of activity, gray heads turning and phones held aloft, as Biletsky—a burly forty-year-old sporting a neatly groomed beard and a tight fade—entered the scene. Aris Roussinos, Harpers Magazine, "The Armies of the Right," 5 Jan. 2021 They then get carried aloft into the coldest part of the cloud tops and freeze. Allison Chinchar, CNN, "The science behind snowflakes," 23 Dec. 2020 On the way to designing all-electric aircraft, electric aviation companies are modifying what works to stay aloft. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "Electric airplanes are getting tantalizingly close to a commercial breakthrough," 13 Dec. 2020 Time will tell whether Tesla's stock price can stay aloft or whether, somehow, this time is different. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Why betting against Tesla was the ‘widow-maker trade of 2020’," 9 Dec. 2020 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, "Leicester rallies to beat Burnely 2-1 in Premier League," 19 Oct. 2019

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.

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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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Time Traveler for aloft

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for aloft

Last Updated

19 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Aloft.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for aloft



English Language Learners Definition of aloft

: in the air


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

Kids Definition of aloft

1 : in the air or in flight The seven great birds stayed aloft about half an hour …— E. B. White, The Trumpet of the Swan
2 : at, on, or to the higher rigging of a ship

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More from Merriam-Webster on aloft

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for aloft

Nglish: Translation of aloft for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of aloft for Arabic Speakers

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