aloof·​ness ə-ˈlüf-nəs How to pronounce aloofness (audio)
: the quality or state of being aloof or emotionally distant
Her aloofness … did not endear her to the rest of the company …Marybeth Kerrigan
… there was an aloofness in him which the boys and I could never quite bridge.Mildred D. Taylor
His aloofness was … born more of insecurity than of arrogance …David Cannadine
… was respected for his military tenacity and his surprising aloofness from party favoritism.Simon Schama

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web But also, don’t mistake their lack of desperation for aloofness either. Washington Post, 10 Mar. 2022 In earlier works, now in the public domain, his aloofness and lack of empathy are crucial aspects of his character and must be respected in any adaptation, the estate claims. Rob Picheta, CNN, 26 June 2020 But aside from the usual accusations of aloofness, tone deafness and crassness, the episode serves as a reminder that — even after more than two years of organizations of all sorts engaging in a massive social experiment — the view remains among some that proper work can only be done in the office. Roger Trapp, Forbes, 30 Apr. 2022 This apparent aloofness persisted as the new management settled in. Washington Post, 11 Oct. 2021 The statement retains potency in its aloofness. Jeff Ihaza, Rolling Stone, 30 Jan. 2023 She’s achieved a seemingly insurmountable feat by somehow cracking a new shade of awkward, stoner-y, lovable aloofness. Luke Kelly-clyne And Graham Techler, Vulture, 30 Apr. 2021 Sandler plays the devoted but put-upon husband with a delicate balance of compassion and aloofness, and in moments like this, a wounded candor comes through that is oddly touching. Calum Marsh, New York Times, 31 Mar. 2023 The risk now for Macron is that enacting a retirement age of 64 without a full vote in parliament smacks of the kind of contempt and aloofness of which he has sometimes been accused. Roger Cohen,, 16 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'aloofness.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


aloof entry 1 + -ness

First Known Use

1639, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of aloofness was in 1639

Dictionary Entries Near aloofness

Cite this Entry

“Aloofness.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jun. 2023.

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