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

Antonyms: Verb

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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 This firms up the suspension response and asks more of the electric motors, working together with the magnetic dampers to control yaw during cornering. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "1,200 uncomfortable miles in a gorgeous Acura NSX hybrid supercar," 12 Mar. 2020 One of the men was afflicted with the virus that causes hepatitis B, and another had a bacterium that causes the skin infection yaws, a disease similar to syphilis. New York Times, "3 Africans in Mexico City Grave Tell Stories of Slavery’s Toll," 1 May 2020 Another individual was infected with the bacterium Treponema pallidum pertenue that causes yaws, a chronic infection of skin, bone and cartilage. Fox News, "16th-century African skeletons discovered in Mexico City shed new light on early colonial slave trade," 1 May 2020 One had the hepatitis B virus, and the other carried the bacterium that causes yaws, a disease in the same family as syphilis. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "Three men were buried in Mexico 500 years ago. DNA and bones reveal their stories of enslavement," 30 Apr. 2020 Every man in the ship would have an intuitive sense of the weather after rising, feeling the pitch and yaw of the ship in the harsh seas. James G. Stavridis, New York Times, "What Was Life Like for Sailors During the Battle of the Atlantic?," 14 Apr. 2020 This creates a steering effect on the rear axle, increasing yaw to help a car rotate through a corner. David Beard, Car and Driver, "All the Right Moves: 2021 Audi e-tron S Sportback," 22 Feb. 2020 In low speed flight yaw was controlled by varying the turboprops' propeller pitch via rudder pedals. Eric Tegler, Ars Technica, "The Fairey Rotodyne, the vertical takeoff and landing airliner time forgot," 16 Feb. 2020 Through this method, India became yaws-free in 2016, though the emergence of antibiotic resistance in the spirochete may complicate efforts. Quanta Magazine, "How to Permanently End Diseases," 3 Dec. 2019 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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Cite this Entry

“Yaw.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yaw. Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for yaw

yaw

noun
How to pronounce yaw (audio)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on yaw

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for yaw

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about yaw

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