\ 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

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

The heavy strategic bomber became a close air support favorite in the skies over Afghanistan, with its ability to dash to support troops in contact, stay aloft for hours on end, and drop bombs with precision. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Fewer Than Ten U.S. B-1 Bombers Are Ready for Action," 6 June 2019 Cosmos-1, the society’s first attempt, launched in 2005 but was lost after the rocket carrying it aloft failed 82 seconds into flight. NBC News, "Spacecraft that sail on sunshine could be the next big thing in spaceflight," 3 June 2019 Those were barrage balloons, floating aloft and anchored by cables, so that enemy planes had to fly over them, making their bombing more difficult. Erik Lacitis, The Seattle Times, "75 years ago, an anxious Seattle turned to radio, newspapers to learn about the D-Day invasion," 2 June 2019 While the paper concludes with talk of silent urban drones and environmental monitoring craft that could stay aloft indefinitely, there's a chance that the technology will end up being little more than a curiosity. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Ion drive meets drone, as small plane flies with no moving parts," 21 Nov. 2018 May the wind always be at your back … and the sun upon your face … and may the the winds of destiny carry you aloft to dance with the stars. Robert Cocuzzo, Town & Country, "Ahem, Is Thing Thing On? A Gentleman's Guide to Best Man Speeches," 25 Apr. 2016 The main weapon is boosted aloft atop a ballistic missile to high altitudes. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "China: Our Hypersonic Missiles Can Sink U.S. Aircraft Carriers," 23 Jan. 2019 Stronger winds aloft will also increase the likelihood of severe weather, including heavy downpours. Tom Skilling,, "Pleasant Monday belies impending storm threat," 25 June 2018 We got stuck in a persistent southerly wind pattern aloft that brought wave after wave of tropical moisture our way, including Alberto. Helena Oliviero, ajc, "The rain may be over, but Lake Lanier remains unsafe for swimmers," 5 June 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

Adverb and Preposition

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

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Dictionary Entries near aloft


aloe vera






Statistics for aloft

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for aloft

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

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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

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

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behavior toward others

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