9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[uh-loof] /əˈluf/
at a distance, especially in feeling or interest; apart:
They always stood aloof from their classmates.
reserved or reticent; indifferent; disinterested:
Because of his shyness, he had the reputation of being aloof.
Origin of aloof
1525-35; a-1 + loof luff windward
Related forms
aloofly, adverb
aloofness, noun
2. cool, detached; distant, standoffish; snobbish, haughty, disdainful.
1. near. 2. warm, open, gregarious, outgoing. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for aloof
  • Do you think cats are aloof? If so, you're in good company.
  • The idea of going to a place and staying aloof of the people is a mistake.
  • To the Greeks the gods seemed equally close and equally aloof.
  • His avuncular manner and unpredictable chuckle made him the antithesis of an aloof scientist.
  • He remained aloof from the abstract movement of his time, and thus won readily the respect of the French academicians.
  • Abu Dhabi has sought to portray itself as above this kind of thing: elegant, restrained and a little bit aloof.
  • In what might be termed the "official" dogma, the gods were usually aloof and impersonal.
  • Deaths occur with barely a mention of grieving or self-doubt by the survivors, and the narrator remains too aloof from the action.
  • They seemed aloof and regal, like pukka sahibs atop an elephant.
  • That humility made her approachable rather than aloof .
British Dictionary definitions for aloof


distant, unsympathetic, or supercilious in manner, attitude, or feeling
Derived Forms
aloofly, adverb
aloofness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from a-1 + loof, a variant of luff
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 aloof

1530s, from a- (1) + Middle English loof "weather gage," also "windward direction," probably from Dutch loef (Middle Dutch lof) "the weather side of a ship." Originally a nautical order to keep the ship's head to the wind, thus to stay clear of a lee-shore or some other quarter; hence the figurative sense of "at a distance, apart" (1580s). Related: Aloofly; aloofness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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