luff [luhf] /lʌf/ Show IPA
the forward edge of a fore-and-aft sail.
verb (used without object)
to bring the head of a sailing ship closer to or directly into the wind, with sails shaking.
(of a sail) to shake from being set too close to the wind:
The sail luffed as we put about for port.
to raise or lower the outer end of the boom of a crane or derrick so as to move its load horizontally.
verb (used with object)
to set (the helm of a ship) in such a way as to bring the head of the ship into the wind.
to raise or lower the outer end of (the boom of a crane or derrick).
1175–1225; Middle English lof, loof steering gear (compare Old French lof) < Middle Dutch (unrecorded), later Dutch loef tholepin (of tiller)