What do a.m. and p.m. stand for?


[uh-baft, uh-bahft] /əˈbæft, əˈbɑft/ Nautical
to the rear of; aft of:
the fife rail abaft the mainmast.
in the direction of the stern; astern; aft.
Origin of abaft
1225-75; Middle English on baft, abaft, equivalent to a-1 and on on + baft, Old English bæftan contraction of be + æftan. See by1aft1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for abaft
  • The deckhouse abaft the pilothouse contains the pantry and the main saloon.
  • abaft the pilothouse is a riveted steel tower, atop which sits one of the deck monitors.
  • It is essential that the bridge notify the chief scientists if the ship's course will result in winds abaft the beam.
  • The after bunkroom is located aft abaft the electrical panel.
  • The next level, reached by stairs running inside abaft the galley, covers only half the area of the deckhouse.
British Dictionary definitions for abaft


adverb, adjective (postpositive)
closer to the stern than to another place on a vessel: with the wind abaft
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for abaft

"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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for abaft

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for abaft

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with abaft

Nearby words for abaft