yaw

noun
\ ˈyȯ How to pronounce yaw (audio) \

Definition of yaw

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the action of yawing especially : a side-to-side movement
2 : the extent of the movement in yawing

yaw

verb
yawed; yawing; yaws

Definition of yaw (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a of a ship : to deviate erratically from a course (as when struck by a heavy sea) especially : to move from side to side
b of an airplane, spacecraft, or projectile : to turn by angular motion about the vertical axis
2 : alternate restlessly yawing between apparent extremes— Martin Kasindorf

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Synonyms & Antonyms for yaw

Synonyms: Verb

break, cut, sheer, swerve, veer, zag, zig

Antonyms: Verb

straighten

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Did You Know?

Verb

In the heyday of large sailing ships, numerous nautical words appeared on the horizon, many of which have origins that have never been traced. "Yaw" is one such word. It began showing up in print in the 16th century, first as a noun (meaning "movement off course" or "side to side movement") and then as a verb. For more than 350 years it remained a sailing word, with occasional side trips to the figurative sense "to alternate." Then dawned the era of airplane flight in the early 20th century, and "yawing" was no longer confined to the sea. Nowadays, people who love boats still use "yaw" much as did the sailing-men of old, but pilots and rocket scientists also refer to the "yawing" of their crafts.

Examples of yaw in a Sentence

Noun

Sensors measure the pitch and yaw of the plane. The airplane's rudder is used to control yaw.

Verb

the ship yawed hard to the right when the rogue wave hit it broadside
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Active yaw control, featuring a twin-clutch rear differential, keeps the Blazer level through the corners. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "2019 Chevy Blazer Test Drive: What Happened When GM Tried To Make the Crossover Cool," 4 Feb. 2019 Making small yaw adjustments is easy, and, even though the pedals’ dead zone is configurable via Thrustmaster’s TARGET software, the default settings are quite pleasant. Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica, "Thrustmaster TPR: The best flight sim pedals you can buy in a store like a normal person," 23 Sep. 2018 Teams generally build vertical and horizontal stabilizers on the back of their subs with flaps to let the pilot control pitch and yaw. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "The Preposterous World of Human-Powered Submarine Racing," 9 Aug. 2017 This will provide no stability, specifically in yaw, or sway. Mike Allen, Popular Mechanics, "How to Tow a Trailer," 6 Jan. 2017 Her own research has led her to suspect that the treponema bacteria originated in the New World, manifesting as yaws and spread through skin-to-skin contact exposed by a warm climate. National Geographic, "Syphilis DNA Pulled From Colonial-Era Bones," 21 June 2018 Each drive mode recalibrates how the MagnaRide dampers adapt to the car in motion, sampling data from wheel speed sensors, pitch, roll, yaw, and a list of other sensors all via the CANbus at 1,000Hz. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "We went to drive the new Ford Mustang—but a tornado messed things up," 17 May 2018 This yaw assist — or torque vectoring — helps the Enclave steer with more stability and less front-tire scrub. Malcolm Gunn, courant.com, "2018 Buick Enclave," 17 May 2018 With the optional trailer-tow group, the Trackhawk can pull 7,200 pounds; selecting Tow Mode modifies torque delivery and sets the suspension to counter pitch and yaw. Andy Mikonis, chicagotribune.com, "Driving the 707-horsepower Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk in a word? SICK," 15 Sep. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Air was not flowing smoothly over the F-14's wings while it was configured for landing, creating an opportunity for the plane to suddenly yaw left or right. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Watch This F-14 Tomcat Spin Out of Control," 15 Aug. 2017 A video shows the helicopter lifting off and then yawing — or twisting — to the left nearly one full rotation before rising out of view. Jesse Paul, The Denver Post, "Flight For Life helicopter crash in Frisco that killed pilot was caused by hydraulic issue, NTSB finds," 28 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'yaw.' 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 yaw

Noun

1546, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for yaw

Noun

origin unknown

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Dictionary Entries near yaw

yaupon

yautia

Yavapai

yaw

Yawata

yawing moment

yawl

Statistics for yaw

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Time Traveler for yaw

The first known use of yaw was in 1546

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More Definitions for yaw

yaw

noun

English Language Learners Definition of yaw

technical : movement of an airplane, ship, etc., to the left or right especially : unwanted left or right movement

yaw

verb
\ ˈyȯ How to pronounce yaw (audio) \
yawed; yawing

Kids Definition of yaw

: to turn suddenly from a straight course The boat yawed in heavy seas.

yaw

noun
\ ˈyȯ How to pronounce yaw (audio) \

Medical Definition of yaw

: one of the lesions characteristic of yaws — see mother yaw

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More from Merriam-Webster on yaw

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with yaw

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for yaw

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about yaw

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