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abaft

[uh-baft, uh-bahft] /əˈbæft, əˈbɑft/ Nautical
preposition
1.
to the rear of; aft of:
the fife rail abaft the mainmast.
adverb
2.
in the direction of the stern; astern; aft.
Origin of abaft
1225-1275
1225-75; Middle English on baft, abaft, equivalent to a-1 and on on + baft, Old English bæftan contraction of be + æftan. See by1aft1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for abaft

abaft

/əˈbɑːft/
adverb, adjective (postpositive)
1.
closer to the stern than to another place on a vessel: with the wind abaft
preposition
2.
behind; aft of: abaft the mast
Word Origin
C13: on baft; baft from Old English beæftan, from be by + æftan behind
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for abaft
adv.

"in or at the back part of a ship" (opposed to forward), 1590s, from Middle English on baft (Old English on bæftan) "backwards." The second component is itself a compound of be "by" (see by) and æftan "aft" (see aft). The word has been saved by the sailors (the stern being the "after" part of a vessel), the rest of the language having left it in Middle English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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