1

yaw

noun \ ˈyȯ \

Definition of yaw

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

yaw was our Word of the Day on 07/27/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of yaw in a Sentence

  1. Sensors measure the pitch and yaw of the plane.

  2. The airplane's rudder is used to control yaw.

Recent Examples of yaw from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of yaw

origin unknown

Other Nautical Terms


2

yaw

verb

Definition of yaw

intransitive verb
1 a 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

Examples of yaw in a Sentence

  1. the ship yawed hard to the right when the rogue wave hit it broadside

Recent Examples of yaw from the Web

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.

Did You Know?

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.

First Known Use of yaw

1586

yaw Synonyms

Other Nautical Terms


YAW Defined for English Language Learners

yaw

noun

Definition of yaw for English Language Learners

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


YAW Defined for Kids

yaw

verb \ ˈyȯ \

Definition of yaw for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

yaw

noun \ ˈyȯ \

medical Definition of yaw

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


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to conform or adhere

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one-green-toy-robot-amidst-many-red-toy-robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!