Definition of aloof in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈlo͞of/


1Not friendly or forthcoming; cool and distant: they were courteous but faintly aloof an aloof and somewhat austere figure
More example sentences
  • I consider myself warm and friendly, but I act cool and aloof with other people.
  • We keep our distance, lower our expectations, stay cool, aloof, and separate.
  • For the remainder of the night, she was very quiet, much to her friends' protests for being aloof and distant.
1.1Conspicuously uninvolved and uninterested, typically through distaste: he stayed aloof from the bickering
More example sentences
  • It is all becoming too complicated and so most subscribers prefer to keep themselves aloof from the row for now and watch serials in peace.
  • Neither country can afford to stand aloof from the United Nations.
  • The so-called modern society has kept itself aloof from this feeling.



Example sentences
  • I shall also enjoy the Jubilee, and if I see either of these two sleazeballs out at our street party, I'll tell them to go easy on the burgers, and stop smiling aloofly.
  • ‘Indeed you will not, for the building is quite separate from the pantry,’ he remarked aloofly, not even turning back to see her.
  • Every great feat has been the child of dissatisfaction, and if everyone was aloofly content, who would open the world of new possibilities?


Pronunciation: /əˈlo͞ofnəs/
Example sentences
  • Collins always seemed to play the game with an air of detachment, a cool aloofness in his comfortable possession of the ball and passing that was as smooth as soul music.
  • Being basically a shy person, I think some players mistook my shyness for aloofness.
  • The locals were neither friendly nor unfriendly; they stood staring from doorways or muttering to themselves in gloomy lanes, and their aloofness was unusual.


Mid 16th century: from a-2 (expressing direction) + luff. The term was originally an adverb in nautical use, meaning 'away and to windward!', i.e., with the ship's head kept close to the wind away from a lee shore, etc., toward which it might otherwise drift. From this arose the sense 'at a distance' literally or figuratively.

  • Aloof was originally a nautical term for an order to steer a ship as close as possible towards the wind. It literally means ‘to windward’, loof (or luff (Late Middle English)) being an old term meaning ‘windward direction’. The idea was that keeping the bow of the ship close to the wind kept it clear of the shore.

Words that rhyme with aloof

behoof, goof, hoof, pouffe, proof, roof, shadoof, spoof, Tartuffe, underproof, woof

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: a·loof

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