\ə-ˈlȯft \

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

above, over, overhead

Antonyms: Adverb

below, beneath, under

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Examples of aloft in a Sentence


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

Traditionally, the people drawing up our cultural canons have been an elite group of scholars and critics who embraced a work of art and sent it aloft to some deifying realm. Wesley Morris, New York Times, "Who Gets to Decide What Belongs in the ‘Canon’?," 30 May 2018 One stumble and one success at a time, the crown has figured out the art of crisis management, and weddings send the polls aloft like nothing else. Patt Morrison,, "After centuries of practice, Britain's royals figure out how to turn a wedding into a global watch party," 17 May 2018 Unlike the old version, which was basically a quadcopter with a seat, this new version of Flyer features a complete cockpit and ten small rotors to keep the craft aloft. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Here's the Newest Design From Larry Page's Flying Car Company," 6 June 2018 There was never much hope or any great need for the Securities and Exchange Commission to go after Mr. Musk for pie-in-the-sky forecasts that investors knew were pie-in-the-sky and welcomed as Muskian gusts of hot air to keep the stock aloft. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "The Last Temptation of Elon Musk," 22 May 2018 Figure skater Adam Rippon competing during the free skate portion of the men's event in the 2018 Winter Olympics Rippon first drew notice on the ice at these Games when his team men’s free skate helped keep aloft the U.S.’s medal chances. Adam Carlson,, "Skater Adam Rippon Exults After a Bronze-Medal-Worthy Olympic Turn: 'My Life Has Changed Forever'," 17 Feb. 2018 People are risking too much to keep the cover story aloft. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "Getting to the Bottom of the Memo Cesspool," 1 Feb. 2018 The angry orange balloon has gotten the approval to go aloft from London's mayor, Sadiq Khan, and has drawn about 23,000 pounds (or roughly $30,000) in donations to a crowdfunding site. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, "Does London's Baby Trump deserve spot among 5 best Trump parodies?," 6 July 2018 Miss Earhart contacted the Itasca by radio only eight times during the 20 hours and 25 minutes she is known to have been aloft., "July 3, 1937: Planes search for Amelia Earhart," 3 July 2018

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


see aloft entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near aloft


aloe vera






Statistics for aloft

Last Updated

28 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for aloft

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

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More Definitions for aloft



English Language Learners Definition of aloft

: in the air


\ə-ˈlȯft \

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with aloft

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for aloft

Spanish Central: Translation of aloft

Nglish: Translation of aloft for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of aloft for Arabic Speakers

Comments on aloft

What made you want to look up aloft? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to enclose within walls

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