[uh-baft, uh-bahft] Nautical.
to the rear of; aft of: the fife rail abaft the mainmast.
in the direction of the stern; astern; aft.

1225–75; Middle English on baft, abaft, equivalent to a-1 and on on + baft, Old English bæftan contraction of be + æftan. See by, aft

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World English Dictionary
abaft (əˈbɑːft)
adv, —adj
1.  closer to the stern than to another place on a vessel: with the wind abaft
2.  behind; aft of: abaft the mast
[C13: on baft; baft from Old English beæftan, from be by + æftan behind]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

O.E. on bæftan "backwards," the second component itself a compound of be "by" + æftan "aft" (see aft). Since M.E. used exclusively of ships, the stern being the "after" part of a vessel.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The deckhouse abaft the pilothouse contains the pantry and the main saloon.
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.
Abaft the pilothouse is a riveted steel tower, atop which sits one of the deck monitors.
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