luff

1 of 2

noun

1
: the act of sailing a ship nearer the wind
2
: the forward edge of a fore-and-aft sail

luff

2 of 2

verb

luffed; luffing; luffs

intransitive verb

: to turn the head of a ship toward the wind

Examples of luff in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The luff along the edges, the abundance of wind along the reach of the river, the arch and tip of the boat in relation to the air and the water; a boy, one hand on his tiller, the other on the rope, ducking down but not far enough. David Means, Harper's Magazine, 23 Nov. 2021
Verb
Smaller cranes, such as luffing or mobile cranes, are laid flat on the ground during a storm and do not pose a threat. Rene Rodriguez, miamiherald, 5 Sep. 2017

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English lof spar holding out the windward tack of a sail, weather side of a ship, from Anglo-French

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of luff was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near luff

Cite this Entry

“Luff.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/luff. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

luff

verb
ˈləf
: to sail toward the wind
luff noun
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