Definition of fore and aft in English:

fore and aft

Line breaks: fore and aft
Pronunciation: /fɔːr(ə)ndˈɑːft


  • 1At the front and rear (often used with reference to a ship or plane): we’re moored fore and aft
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    • At first when sails triumphed over oars, a large square sail was rigged on the mainmast while two smaller sails fore and aft gave the ship maneuverability.
    • He shortened the front sight fore and aft to make it match the tiny rear Novak.
    • It had sleeping cabins fore and aft, and while the aft stateroom had a minuscule desk, it was the V-berth forward cabin that I settled on for my working area.
  • 1.1Backwards and forwards: a sperm whale cannot see directly fore and aft
    More example sentences
    • It is either too loose (slight movement fore and aft with front brake clamped) or too tight (binds when turned - worse when turned to right than to left).
    • Other appealing details include a front passenger seat with a fold-down back that becomes a desk surface when you park, and rear seats that slide fore and aft, fold flat or can be stowed vertically to dramatically increase luggage-room.
    • When compressed, it becomes sufficiently narrow to slide fore and aft between the rear wheel arches, giving a choice of more luggage space but less legroom, or the reverse.


[attributive] Back to top  
  • 1Backwards and forwards: the fore-and-aft motion of the handles
    More example sentences
    • This is how the fore-and-aft motion of the pistons is converted into rotary motion to drive the locomotive along the track.
    • This takes care of up-and-down stress; another pair on top of the barrel and receiver handles fore-and-aft forces.
    • Threaded adjustable stops limiting the fore-and-aft movement of the column were located below the flr, and could be reached through the wheel well.
  • 2(Of a sail or rigging) set lengthwise, not on the yards.
    More example sentences
    • When furled, the square sails vanished inside the booms, although the 15 fore-and-aft sails were handled like any modern sail-boat's roller-furling jib.
    • Also, the fore-and-aft sail on the mizzenmast, originally a triangular lateen sail, was changed to accommodate the more modern rig.
    • She had two masts and carried fore-and-aft auxiliary sails.
  • 3North American (Of a road) constructed of logs laid end to end.
  • 4 historical (Of a man’s hat) having three corners and a peak at the front and back.


early 17th century: perhaps translating a phrase of Low German origin; compare with Dutch van voren en van achteren.

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